Tablets 'turning Dixons into a winner'

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of Currys and PC World's owner Dixons Retail declared the retailer was moving from "survivor to winner" yesterday as a boom in tablet sales sent UK profits flying.

Dixons, led by Sebastian James, endured a bitterly tough recession as cash-strapped households reined in spending on expensive appliances.

However, underlying profits of £94.5m in the year to April were 15 per cent ahead of last year and shattered City expectations.

In the UK & Ireland the results were even more impressive as profits jumped 39 per cent.

Dixons was forced to cut prices to tempt shoppers, denting margins, but was helped by the demise of Comet as its market share rose from 19 per cent to 21 per cent. Tesco's shift away from consumer electronics is also easing the competitive landscape.

Pre-tax losses were still ugly – £114.3m – as Mr James grapples with its loss-making Pixmania internet business, over which Dixons is reviewing options. But he flagged up sales growth of 4 per cent and added: "We have returned to growth for the group as a whole, and also to a net cash position, marking an important milestone in our transition from survivor to winner."

Dixons shares fell 0.3p to 42p, outperforming the falling market.