Dixons buoyed by surprise sales leap

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Dixons provided a boost for sentiment in the UK retail sector yesterday when it surprised the City with a 5 per cent jump in like-for-like sales.

Dixons provided a boost for sentiment in the UK retail sector yesterday when it surprised the City with a 5 per cent jump in like-for-like sales.

John Clare, the chief executive, said its UK chains had enjoyed a particularly strong three months, clocking up like-for-like sales growth of 7 per cent. He singled out Currys and PC World as star performers - underlying sales at Currys grew by low double digits.

Even the core Dixons chain, which has long been the group's problem child, had a better start to the new financial year, with analysts estimating that sales from the high street electricals chain were flat after sliding for months.

Mr Clare told investors at the company's annual meeting: "Dixons' sales performance is showing some encouraging signs of recovery from last year's levels." Shares in the group rose 1.5p to 161.75p.

Unabated demand for flat screen televisions, particularly during Euro 2004, fuelled sales growth at Currys during the 18 weeks to 4 September, a spokeswoman said.

The jump in UK sales offset flat sales in its international markets. The group said underlying sales suffered from new store openings in countries such as Scandinavia, where it is rolling out a second brand. The one blip was gross margins, which slipped 40 basis points.

Comments