Sales weaker as Dixons figures slip

DIXONS GROUP, the electrical retailer that takes in Currys shops and the Supasnaps film developing outlets, reported that sales growth has weakened in May and June after a strong second half to 2 May.

John Clare, group managing director, said: 'We've certainly seen, since the start of the financial year in May, a less buoyant sales performance than in the previous six months.'

Annual pre-tax profits fell from pounds 81.7m to pounds 70.3m as the group's US shops plunged to a loss of pounds 16.9m. UK operating profits rose from pounds 54m to pounds 71.9m, with sales accelerating in the second half. Sales of camcorders, video games and office products were especially strong.

Dixons also announced it was pulling out of UK property development, setting aside pounds 26m to cover the exit costs. The net extraordinary loss was pounds 11.2m after tax and other credits.

A final dividend of 4.4p, up from 4.2p, makes a total of 6p.

John Richards, a stores analyst at the stockbroker County NatWest, downgraded his profits forecast for the current year from pounds 95m to pounds 83m because of the subdued sales picture at present.

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