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Sales outlook starts to improve for DSG...

DSG, the electrical retailer behind Currys, Dixons and PC World, yesterday posted a smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly sales and said that the outlook had improved slightly.<br /><br />The firm also confirmed it had sold its loss-making Polish division for a nominal &euro;1 (60p) to IDMSA Brokerage House, following the shedding of its other loss-making Swedish and Finnish business. The group&rsquo;s shares yesterday lifted by 2.74 per cent to 27.34p.<br /><br />It reported total group sales were down six per cent for the 16 weeks to 22 August and said like-for-like sales were also down six percent, beating analysts predictions for a 7&ndash;11 per cent drop. The trading figures are an improvement on the 11 per cent drop in sales it posted in the second half of the year.<br /><br />Chief executive John Browett said: &ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing some evidence that in fact it&rsquo;s not going to be quite as bad as some of the more pessimistic scenarios around the economy, although we&rsquo;re still in recession.&rdquo; <br /><br />&ldquo;The outlook now looks less negative than it did in the spring,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />In the UK sales were down more sharply with a 14 per cent drop in electricals and 15 per cent drop in computing. DSG said its computer retailer PC world has suffered from &ldquo;poor&rdquo; consumer demand for laptops and personal computers in the downturn.<br /><br />But the group was bolstered by a strong performance in its Nordic regions, which lifted total sales. Its Nordic stores achieved a 16 per cent growth in sales and a nine per cent growth in like-for-like sales.<br /><br />DSG&rsquo;s shares slumped by up to 90 per cent last year as a drop in discretionary spending raised fears it might breach banking agreements. But the group allayed those fears when it raised over &pound;300m in a share sale earlier this year and renegotiated borrowing rules. It is now in the process of a massive restructuring.