Dixons Carphone reports ‘good start’


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The Independent Online

The boss of Dixons Carphone said its burgeoning marriage was taking shape and the two retailers have “worked out who is taking out the bins”, despite posting falling sales in its maiden trading update yesterday.

The newly merged high street electronics group’s chief executive Sebastian James hailed a “good start” after formally merging last month.

Mr James said he was pleased Carphone had recorded just a 6 per cent fall in sales at shops open longer than a year against sales figures inflated by promotions on Apple and Samsung phones which drew throngs of shoppers last year.

Its electricals arm was dragged to a 1 per cent fall in sales by currency translations from its Nordic arm, in which sales slowed during a hot summer.

However, customers rushing to buy new televisions ahead of the World Cup buoyed sales in the UK and Ireland by 4 per cent.

The retailer, which is due to join the FTSE 100 on 22 September, has now opened 11 Carphone shops within Currys PC World stores and is on track to open 30 this year as the businesses begin to integrate.

Mr James said: “There are now departments serving both parts of the business. Even in the face of some uncertainty everyone has been very grown up and pragmatic.”

He added that “tough conversations” over jobs had yet to begin. The company aims to cut 800 roles and create 1,600 as it rebalances its staffing to cut costs and service new shops.

Mr James said the outlook for the retailer is positive as customers invest in “posher appliances” like range cookers to improve their homes.

The retailer expects Carphone’s sales to bounce back strongly with the launch of the new iPhone, details of which were revealed last night, following a lull ahead of its launch.

Its shares edged up 2.1p to 371.4p.

Mr James refused to be drawn on the fate of Phones4U, Dixons’ former phone partner which is reportedly considering deep cost cutting amid financial difficulty.

Dixons Carphone has identified at least £80m which can be gained from the merger through combined savings and revenue.