Dixons Retail has announced its interim results for the six months ending October 31st, 2013.
The electronics retail group - which owns Currys and PC World - has reported underlying profit for the first time in six years.
Group underlying earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 52 per cent to £48.1 million, while in the UK and Ireland profits increased five-fold to £31.4 million. Sales in the UK increased seven per cent to £1.85 billion.
"This strong performance has partly been driven by the continued benefit of the exit of competitors, most notably Comet at the end of 2012, which has now been anniversaried," said Dixons in a statement.
"Our relentless drive for better value, choice and service for customers has also helped Currys/PC World gain further market share which we now believe stands at approximately 23 per cent."
Meanwhile, Northern Europe delivered an underlying operating profit of £45.5 million, while overall like-for-like sales rose six per cent.
Dixons achieved net cash of £55.4 million compared to a net debt position of £21.9 million in the first half of last year, and the retailer said it's on track to reduce costs by its targeted £45 million in its current financial year.
Sebastian James, Chief Executive, said: “I am pleased to report that we have had a successful first half with customer satisfaction and profitability up considerably year-on-year. In fact, as a Group we are reporting an underlying profit for the first time in six years.
"The UK & Ireland, in particular, has performed very well while our Nordic business is more than holding its own in a - somewhat - more competitive market.
"I am very happy that, in the last few months, we have been able to streamline the Group substantially. The transactions that we have announced with PIXmania, Unieuro and Electroworld in Turkey represent a real achievement and will leave Dixons in a leadership position in all of our major markets.
"We remain cautious about the outlook for consumers in our markets; very strong trading this time last year, together with the fact that we have now annualised Comet’s exit makes the second half more challenging.
"Nevertheless, we have had a great first half and our stores have never looked better - or had better offers for customers.”
Other Dixons UK facts and figures
- Second quarter like-for-like sales rose 12 per cent
- Customer service offering 'Knowhow' has seen sales increase 13 per cent to £19.6 million in the first half of 2013
- Over the last 12 months Dixons carried out 2.6 million deliveries and installations
- 76,000 'Showhows' have been carried out since their introduction in September 2012
- Over the last 12 months Dixons has sold 1.1 million 'Knowhow' cloud services and carried out approximately 750,000 laptop, TV and tablet repairs