Business World

Monday 27 February 2017

Dixons soars 15pc as sales beat forecasts

RETAIL

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Shares in Dixons Retail -- the owner of Currys and PC World stores -- jumped as much as nearly 15pc yesterday after it reported narrower-than-expected losses and delivered a relatively upbeat assessment of its first-half trading.

The company also said that its revamped outlets in Ireland had been performing well and that there has been some recovery in the market here after the economy "rebased itself".

Shares in the company, which still operates the Dixons name online and in locations such as airports, have tanked by more than 60pc in the past year as the consumer spending environment in its markets from Ireland to Greece was significantly curtailed.

The group, which has close to 30 outlets in Ireland, said that in the 24 weeks to mid-October, its underlying pre-tax loss increased to £25.3m (€29m). But that was still less than the £30.1m (€35m) loss that had been expected by analysts.

Group like-for-like sales declined 3pc in the second quarter of the company's financial year, compared to a 7pc fall in the first quarter.

Challenge

The company, which earlier this year shut its Spanish operation, said that its operations in Italy and Greece continued to experience challenging conditions, but that its Irish stores were doing better.

Chief executive John Browett said he expected iPads and headphones to be among the chain's big sellers for Christmas.

The uplift will "come as a relief", said Matthew McEachran, an analyst at Singer Capital Markets. However, he warned that the Christmas trading season looked like it would be "increasingly difficult".

Shares in Dixons closed up just over 7pc.

Irish Independent

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