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Dixons sees rise in sales in final quarter

Electricals retailer Dixons Retail has reported a better-than-expected full-year performance despite a 3% fall in like-for-like sales for the full year.

CITY & CORPORATE

Dixons sees rise in sales in final quarter

The group said its underlying profit before tax for the year ending 28 April was expected to be between £65 million and £70 million, towards the top end of expectations.

The group benefited from a like-for-like sales rise of 5% in its final quarter. In addition, it saw good performances in the UK & Ireland and Northern Europe, with like-for-like sales up 8% and 10% respectively in the quarter. However, this was offset by declining sales in southern Europe where sales were down 0.9%, due to "continued difficult economic environments".

Group gross margins were down 0.3% in the full year and were flat in the UK, in line with strategy. In Northern Europe gross margins were down 0.5% in the full year but recovered to flat in the second half.

Sebastian James, chief executive, said: "Our overall group performance across the year has been slightly better than we anticipated. We saw a strong end to the year particularly in the UK and Nordics, and it is good to see the work that we have been doing to improve the ranging and service bearing fruit as more customers are choosing us over our competitors. However, in Southern Europe our businesses have been impacted by the weaker economic environments and issues in the Eurozone.

"The consumer environment remains uncertain in many of our markets and we continue to plan cautiously and manage costs aggressively. Overall, though, our business is in a strong position for the year ahead and we are looking forward to an exciting summer of sporting activities and celebrations."

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