Dixons group hails 30% profit rise

Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The newly created company behind retail brands Carphone Warehouse and Currys/PC World has hailed a “barnstorming” performance from its UK stores.

Dixons Carphone, which is now worth £5 billion following a merger in the summer, said like-for-like sales were up 11% in its most recent trading quarter as group profits rose 30% to £78 million in the half year to November 1.

It said w hite goods and televisions sold well in Currys and PC World stores, driven by demand for high-end TVs due to initiatives such as free warranties.

The Carphone Warehouse mobile business sold more post-pay contracts as it benefited from the collapse of Phones 4U and recent product launches.

Since the end of the period, trading has received a further boost from demand on Black Friday, which was the biggest day in Currys/PC World history.

Web traffic jumped five-fold from last year and stores saw significantly increased footfall with the most popular products including large-screen Samsung TVs, DeLonghi coffee machines and Hotpoint washing machines.

Chief executive Sebastian James said: “T his has been a very good half year but there is a lot more of the year to go and a crucial Christmas to come, against a backdrop of big changes in how and when customers do their Christmas shopping.

“Black Friday was an extraordinary – and fun – day but we are all acutely aware that there is no room for complacency.”

Dixons Carphone, which employs more than 40,000 people in 14 countries, was created with the aim of tapping into the way technology will transform households through the ”Internet of Things” as rapid internet speeds mean appliances can be controlled by the touch of a mobile device.

Such a retail behemoth would be expected to have more power to stand up to online competition from electrical retail rivals such as AO World.

Like-for-like revenues growth across the group was 5% in the half year after the “barnstorming” performance in the UK and Ireland was partially offset by tougher trading conditions in southern Europe, most notably Spain.

The company said the integration of Carphone and the business of PC World and Currys continues to progress well, with its target for a minimum £80 million of cost savings brought forward by a year to 2016-17.

There are now 190 Carphone Warehouse outlets within Currys and PC World stores, including 158 converted Phones 4U concessions.

Mr James added: “The integration of our business seems to be going better than I dared hope, and our integrated stores are trading very well which augurs well for the future.

“There is still much, much more to do, but I have been struck by the willingness of people at all levels and from all parts of the business to roll up their sleeves and get on with it.”

Published: Wednesday 17th December 2014 by The News Editor

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