Dixons Carphone draws up plans in case Greece exits the eurozone

Electricals retailer has also 'gently' planned for Brexit

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The Independent Online

Detailed contingency plans have been drawn up by the board of Dixons Carphone, the retailer behind Currys PC World, for its Greek business should the country be forced to leave the eurozone.

Its chief executive Seb James said his company, which is the biggest electricals retailer in Greece, where it trades as Kotsovolos, was well prepared and could even benefit from the struggling nation leaving the single currency.

He said: “We’ve got a detailed plan if Greece decides exit the euro. It’s a relatively small market but we are number one in the country. It’s only 5 per cent of our business but it’s a good company and has done well.

“It’s going to be complicated and it’s hard to read what will happen. Clearly there could be disruptions but if times become tough our competitors could go under, which would benefit us.

“Obviously we don’t want to see civil unrest because that’s not good for business, but we’ve been there before and are well prepared.”

The comments come as he revealed Dixons Carphone, created a year ago from the merger of the electricals retailer and the phone shop business, would beat expectations for full-year profits of £375m – although only just.

Sales in the UK soared an impressive 13 per cent in the three months to 2 May, as the retailer benefitted from strong promotion periods and a boost in real earnings. The company also appear to have shrugged off the competition from it rival AO World, which revealed a poor set of results on Tuesday.

Mr James said: “The recovery in the housing market has helped drive white goods [fridges and washing machines]. It’s partly things we’ve done but I think more people are moving house. I also think some of the big expenditure people deferred in the last few years is coming through and we’re benefitting from that.”

Big screen televisions also sold well, with Mr James adding that more than half of all sales had been new 4K ultra high definition versions.

There was disappointment in the company’s Norwegian business, where the falling oil prices hit the economy, but this was offset by an 8 per cent growth in its southern Europe business at a time when analysts were predicting a 6 per cent fall.

Mr James added that Dixons Carphone also has a contingency plan, should the UK decide to leave the EU. He added: “It’s too early to say what will happen. I’m kind of looking forward to what comes back from the white smoke at these negotiations [between David Cameron and EU leaders].

“We have contingency planned gently but I think we’re a long way from knowing what will happen.”

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