The UK's largest technology retail group DSGi has changed its name to Dixons Retail, which it says will 'resonate' in a much stronger way that the current brand.
The group, which owns PC World and Currys, simultaneously announced underlying pre-tax profits were up 61 per cent at £90.5 million for the 52 weeks ending May 1st.
In an official statement, the firm said the change of name was designed "to harness the strength of the Dixons name and to reflect the resurgence of the company. The Dixons name resonates strongly with suppliers, the market, and colleagues in a way that DSG international has not been able to without significant investment in the brand."
Total Group sales, including those from closed businesses, were up three per cent to £8,532.5 million, while 'significant' profit improvements were logged across the group, including a 21 per cent rise in the UK & Ireland, and a 28 per cent rise in Nordics.
However total sales in the UK & Ireland were actually down five per cent to £4,013.5 million (2008/09 £4,228.6 million), and like for like sales were down three per cent across the year. On a more positive note, like for like sales in the second half were up three per cent as the Renewal and Transformation plan began to deliver benefits.
Speaking of the Renewal and Transformation plan, the retailer says over 200 stores will be reformatted across the Group by the year end, an additional 80 reformatted stores will be opened by Christmas in the UK, including 21 megastores, and two thirds of store portfolio by sales will be transformed in the UK by October 2010.
The firm has also set up a new £360 million revolving credit facility signed with syndicate of banks, designed to provide flexibility.
Though it sees a tough immediate economic future in Europe, Dixons predicts profitability will continue to improve in line with the store openings and refurbs.
John Browett, chief executive, said: “Focus on our customers drives everything we do and I am delighted with the excellent progress we have made over the past twelve months as we continue to transform the Group, despite the recessionary environment across Europe. We have made significant improvements throughout the business, transforming the shopping experience for customers with better choice, value and service both in stores and online. We are now two years into the Renewal and Transformation plan and are encouraged by the improved profitability and competitiveness it continues to deliver.”