● DIXONS BIGGEST “SNOW LOSER” The electronics retailer Dixons, which owns PC Worlds and Currys, cut its consensus profit forecasts by 20 per cent after a weak Christmas trading statement. Management blamed snow for half of the four percent decline in like-for-like sales. The share price fell by 10.3 per cent on Thursday, and the investment bank Nomura downgraded the stock on Friday. ● Apple iPads sold six times more than the weekly average. ● The Nordic business saw sales growth of 11 per cent, helping to compensate for poor performance in Britain.
● CHILDREN’S BIKES SALES STALL
The car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords saw its share price plummet on Thursday after warning that profits might be at the “lower end” of expectations. Like-for-like sales of bicycles fell by 16 per cent in the three months to 31 December, while satellite navigation systems saw sales fall by 18 per cent year-on-year. Managers blamed the cold weather for deterring parents from buying bikes and outdoor toys for children. ● Retail sales overall fell by 6.6 per cent, which in fact beat many expectations. ● Car maintenance sales increased by 12 per cent as customers bought products to cope with the snow, slightly offsetting the loss of bike sales. ● GAME GROUP LOOKS TO RECOVERY
The beleaguered video game retailer Game Group reported Christmas sales that were significantly better than expected. The share price rose by 15.7 per cent on the news, though it dropped back slightly on Friday to 69p. HSBC lifted their target share price from 73p to 85p. ● The popular video game Call of Duty: Black Ops and the Kinect motion sensor controller for Microsoft’s Xbox games console both sold well, helping to slow the reverse in total sales.