NS Retail said this summer’s sporting events helped boost trading at its UK and Irish operations, as Europe’s second largest electricals retailer posted a five per cent rise in first quarter like-for-like sales.
Chief executive Sebastian James said customers bought five times as many 55 inch TVs and treble the amount of Smart TVs than they did in the same period last year, as households traded up to enjoy the Euro 2012 and the Olympics.
In the UK & Ireland – where it trades as PC World and Currys – like-for-like sales rose seven per cent in the 12 weeks to 21 July. Multi-channel sales leapt 48 per cent.
In Northern Europe, growth was up 13 per cent on a like-for-like basis with Denmark and Finland – where is trades as Elkjop – trading particularly strongly.
This helped offset a weak performance in Southern Europe, where James described the market as “pretty dire”. Sales in the region fell 10 per cent, dragged down by Greece and Italy where consumer confidence it at an all-time low.
The group said August had been quieter and expects to see a slowdown in sales ahead of Microsoft’s launch of its new Windows 8 operating system in October and the start of the Christmas trading period.