Nine months into the job, John Browett, chief executive of DSG International announced yesterday he was not foreseeing a “chance for recovery until 2010”, following a first quarter slump in the market.
Like-for-like sales in the 16 weeks to 23 August fell seven per cent on the same period last year, led by 12 per cent declines in its UK computing and southern European operations.
It was also announced that Sir John Collins would retire from his six year stint as chairman of the board after the 2009 shareholder meeting.
Browett attributes PC World’s loss in sales to the current economic outlook. He said the effect of the clearance of laptops at very low prices following “massively over ordering” last year, also affected this year’s low profit margin. PC World has also suffered competition from other retail businesses entering into the computer market, which it used to dominate. Consumer goods relating to housing, such as fridge freezers which tend to only be replaced when buying or selling a property, were down 25 per cent, for example. But Browett said yesterday that he could rely on the strong gaming market, and technology advances, such as improved flat screens and the new Netbook, for a stronger Christmas performance.
“But for a time it will be very tough and nerve racking,” he admitted.
DSG however said that it would be decreasing staff recruitment , rather than making job cuts. DSG shares closed the day 2.45 per cent up.