Dixons, owner of PC World and Currys, has returned to a profit after six years, as it continues to feel the benefits of rival Comet’s demise.
The company saw UK and Ireland sales jump 9 per cent in the six months to the end of October on a like-for-like basis, with profits hitting £31.4 million, compared with £6.9 million over the same period last year.
Dixons has struggled in recent years as it tries to adapt to competition from online rivals like Amazon. However, new store concepts and price matching has helped.
Chief executive Seb James also revealed that he has started using heat-seeking cameras in some stores to track how customers prefer to shop.
“We’re not going for a Minority Report type experience with chips in customers. We want to do it in a slightly less creepy way,” he added.
“We think it helps with things like congestion and get an idea of how they think when they come into stores.”
Dixons has struggled through some of its international divisions and has been forced to offload its Italian and Turkish businesses, along with online retailer Pixmania.
The company took a £78 million loss on the sales, and is expected to cost more following the completion of the Pixmania sale later this month.
On Christmas, he said kitchen equipment and computer tablets were selling particularly well.