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Dixons struck gold at Olympics

Europe's largest electronic retailer, Dixons, has said its UK and Irish operations have returned to first-half profitability for the first time in five years.

The group, which operates under the PC World and Currys brands in close to 30 outlets in Ireland, provided further evidence for investors that its operations are showing signs of stabilisation.

It said like-for-like sales in the first half of its financial year rose 3pc to £3.28bn (€4.04bn), while its net loss narrowed to £22.2m (€27.4m) from £25.3m (€31.3m). The revenue rise was spurred by television sales before the Olympics.

"I am particularly encouraged by our performance in the UK and Ireland and in Northern Europe and we were particularly busy during the sporting and cultural events during the summer," said Dixons chief executive Sebastian James.

He said the company's UK operations are also set to benefit after rival Comet entered administration.

"Dixons continues to underline its survivor status," said analyst Keith Bowman at Hargreaves Lansdown. "While arch rival Comet remains in a critical condition, a combination of initiatives including cost savings, store revamps and an ever-greater emphasis on its online offering are driving the group's recovery."

Irish Independent