Dixons' profits were boosted the previous year as customers spent building society windfalls. Without such spending power, demand for large household appliances such as freezers suffered the most. Dixons now hopes to make money from advertising and internet commerce. The British market for internet retail sales is expected to rise to pounds 3bn by 2003.
Freeserve became the UK's largest internet service provider in December, less than three months after it launched.