Dixons Carphone has got off to a good start. Not only have high-street rivals Phones 4U and Comet bitten the dust over the course of 2014, but the merger seems to have gone well, with pro forma profit before tax up 30 per cent in its first interim results and synergies are way ahead of schedule.
Like for like sales were up 11 per cent in the UK and Ireland in the second quarter (to 1 November), with the figure dropping to six per cent for the half.
The merger will include a hefty restructuring of the business but the integration is expected to give £80m of synergies by 2016-17, a year ahead of schedule. Part of the restructuring was the offloading of Virgin Mobile France, which yielded a useful £104m.
Sebastian James, chief executive, said:
It is clearly a symbolic moment in the history of our great new shared enterprise to be reporting our first half year results. And they are, I am pleased to say, encouraging. Overall sales in the period have grown by 5 per cent on a like-for-like basis and profit before tax has grown by 30 per cent. Best of all, customer satisfaction continues to show good year-on-year progress across the business.
We have seen a barnstorming performance from our UK and Ireland division with like-for-like sales growth of 6 per cent in the first half and 11 per cent in the second quarter. This has been driven by continued improvements in price and service, competitive changes, technology launches and some recovery in the economy.