Dixons benefits from boom in sales of tablets

Kasmira Jefford
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BOOMING tablet sales and the demise of rival Comet have helped boost Dixons Retail on its road to recovery, despite its French business still weighing heavily on profits.

The electronics retailer, which trades as Currys and PC World in the UK, said it had seen triple-digit growth in tablet sales over the year in the UK, helping to lift sales in its home market by seven per cent.

Chief executive Sebastian James said the economic environment was still tough, but signalled “the faintest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel”.

Dixons has gained about a third of Comet’s business, since it collapsed in November last year, and said about half of the growth in the last quarter came from its former rival’s demise.

This helped lift underlying sales by four per cent to £8.4bn in the year to 30 April, while underlying pre-tax profits rose 15 per cent to £94.5m.

Including exceptional items, Dixons made a pre-tax loss of £115.3m, down from £118.8m last time after booking a restructuring charge mainly related to its French Pixmania business.

James said it has hired advisers to consider the sale of Pixmania and is also looking at options for its struggling Turkish stores.

The group ended the year with net cash for the first time in five years of £42.1m, which James said was “an important psychological milestone”.