DSGi UK PC sales down

Browett admits retailer is in 'tough' climate, but claims turnaround plan is working
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John Browett has conceded that last six months of trading have been 'tough' for DSGi, with him warning the firm will be looking to reduce costs for areas of lower return and lesser priority.

Despite praise for his Renewal and Transformation programme, UK sales took a battering with total growth in the PC segment decimated. Like-for-like sales were also down significantly at 11 per cent. Electricals did little better, down in total by five per cent, while like-for-like was down seven per cent.

Margins were also down 0.7 per cent across the group, with DSGi putting it down to a great mix of hardware, such as vision, and greater management of stock due to the slowdown.

In response, DSGi has stated that it will be reducing capital expenditure across the board by approximately £30m, with the main focus being on areas of lower return and lesser priority.

Browett was keen to focus on the plan, stressing that the initial performance of the seven Currys and four Currys.digital stores that had undergone format renewals were ahead of expectations. He also confirmed that 40 PC Worlds would have the new format by mid-November.

DSGi also said that the opening of its 55,000 sq ft Currys Megastore had been successful. The opening caused serious congestion on the M6 and saw fighting break out amongst customers awaiting the launch thanks to special deals such as Sat Navs going for £19.99 for the first 19 customers and £100 off the PlayStation 3.

The firm was also keen to stress that its training programme was going well, boasting that 10,000 of its staff had now completed the first stage of its revised in-store service programme.

"The trading environment continues to be tough. We are very focused on managing through this by reducing costs and improving our cash position," commented Browett. "Alongside this we are progressing our Renewal and Transformation programme as it is delivering for customers and generating returns ahead of initial targets."

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