Dixons Retail narrows its full-year loss

Kasmira Jefford
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DIXONS Retail posted a better-than-expected half year loss after Europe’s second largest electrical goods retailer won market share from its rivals, helping to limit the impact of weak consumer spending.

The company, which is home to the Currys and PC World chains in Britain, said it made a loss before tax of £25.3m in the 24 weeks to 15 October.

That compared with a loss of £6.9m the same time last year, but was ahead of analysts’ average forecast for a loss of about £30m. Losses at its UK business narrowed from £10.7m to £3.9m.

John Browett, chief executive, said the group was pleased with its performance compared with the previous year, when sales were buoyed by the Fifa World Cup.

Browett said sales of white goods, such as washing machines, coffee machines and expensive headphones had grown while smaller consumer items like sat navs and cheap cameras had fared worse.

Dixons said it had outperformed rivals in part thanks to a store revamp programme focused on more popular megastores and consolidating its Currys and PC World Stores.

Its operations in Italy and Greece continued to be hit by the European economic crisis, whilst its other international markets including Turkey and the Nordics performed strongly.

Net debt fell over £70m to £143m, helping to ease concerns over the group’s financial position.