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Business News

Currys' owner gets World Cup TV boost as profits rise

DSGi, the owner of the Currys electricals chain, yesterday revealed that its sales of TVs had risen sharply in the run-up to the football World Cup, as it posted an uptick in underlying profits ahead of City expectations.

The electricals group, which also has operations in countries including Italy, Greece and Sweden, said that its sales of TVs in the UK had soared by 40 per cent in May, compared with the national TV market as a whole, which grew by 10 per cent, according to the research firm GfK.

A key driver of the sales uplift was its "cash for goals" promotion: before the tournament started, Currys offered customers a £10 voucher for every goal England scores if they bought any TV for £599 or more.

John Browett, the chief executive of DSGi, said: "It [the promotion] really caught the imagination of the public." He joked that he hoped England scored 14 to 15 goals, as DSGi was fully hedged on the offer and it would improve the mood of UK customers.

For the year to 1 May, DSGi's underlying pre-tax profits rose by 61 per cent to £90.5m, excluding costs from closing down two small chains in Hungary and Poland and shutting down a number of stores on the Continent.

The jump was driven by a strong second half of the year, notably an increase of 16 per cent in the Nordic region at its Elkjop chain. In the UK and Ireland, it was boosted by strong sales at its 164 upgraded stores, including the 12 Currys Megastores and combined 2-in-1 Currys and PC World shops.

Total underlying sales at DSGi, which runs the Dixons electricals website, climbed by 4 per cent to £8.53bn and by 2 per cent on an underlying basis.

However, in a surprise move, DSGi said it was changing its corporate identity to Dixons Retail less than five years after dropping the name Dixons Group. The DSGi name had confused suppliers, particularly those in the Far East more familiar with the Dixons brand.