Dixons sales fall 5%
Dixons Retail, the owner of Currys and PC World, saw group like-for-like sales fall 5% in the 12 weeks to 7th January which was less than analysts had predicted. Like-for-like sales at stores in the UK and Ireland were down 7%.
The group said it enjoyed a strong trading pre-Christmas but the sale period after Christmas was distorted by the VAT rise last year.
The company saw a 23% jump in sales in the period from 4th to 14th January.
There was 10% drop in like-for-like sales at the group’s Southern Europe operations, which include Greece and Italy. However Northern Europe showed growth in the period, with sales rising 3%.
Dixons said the group’s gross margins were flat year-on-year and stock levels were down 7% compared to a year earlier.
The group saw strong growth in multichannel sales with 19% of group sales generated online.
John Browett, group chief executive, had achieved a solid performance against a "challenging backdrop".
He added: "We think this Christmas has proven that we can actually trade well. Consumer confidence in many of our markets remains fragile and we will maintain a cautious approach to the outlook for the year ahead.
"We have set our business accordingly and will continue with our self-help strategy to improve the offer for customers. Our renewal and transformation plan is continuing to make the business better, easier and cheaper to run and delivering an unbeatable combination of value, choice and service for customers."
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