Dixons Carphone will not pay a dividend to shareholders this year due to the coronavirus crisis, the company said this morning as it reported strong online trading during the lockdown.
The retailer said its closed stores in the UK, Ireland and Greece would have been expected to contribute an extra £400m this year.
However, online trading recovered around two-thirds of the lost UK in-store sales, the company said, sending its share price up more than 13 per cent.
Dixons Carphone has permanently closed its 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK, as announced last month. The coronavirus lockdown forced the stores to close 11 days earlier than planned.
In the five weeks to 25 April UK and Ireland online sales grew 166 per cent, while total electricals sales dropped 16 per cent.
Overall sales were up one per cent in the 52 weeks to 25 April, driven by 22 per cent growth in online transactions.
The company will not pay a full-year dividend due to “uncertainty and the need to build for the future”.
Dixons Carphone said: “Dividend payments will not be resumed until our standby debt facilities have been cancelled, which can be done at any time and is something we would plan to do when there is more certainty over the future.”
This month the company reported a surge in demand for home office equipment, gaming and tv products, and food preparation items such as bread makers.
In the second half of April there has been a spike in sales of personal care products and fitness trackers.
Dixons Carphone has secured an additional £266m revolving credit facility, and had £1bn of unused facilities at the end of the reporting period.
Group chief executive Alex Baldock said: “We’re being prudent in conserving cash, have secured additional funding, and can plan for the future with confidence.
“We remain committed to our longer-term transformation and will use everything we’re learning through this crisis to build a better business for customers, colleagues and shareholders.”