Dixons Carphone’s Christmas sales buoyed by online performance

Company has benefitted from home working boom

Dixons Carphone revealed that online electronics sales soared 121 per cent in the UK and Ireland over the 10 weeks to January 9th. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Dixons Carphone revealed that online electronics sales soared 121 per cent in the UK and Ireland over the 10 weeks to January 9th. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

 

Strong online sales of large screen TVs, smart tech and food preparation gadgets helped British retailer Dixons Carphone report an 11 per cent rise in underlying sales of electricals in its Christmas trading period.

The group, which trades as Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse, said the online performance more than offset the closure of stores during Covid-19 lockdowns.

However, the outcome for the 10 weeks to January 9th did represent a slowdown from growth of 17 per cent in its first half.

While its shops have been closed during lockdowns, Dixons Carphone has benefited from people working from home and buying equipment for their houses online.

The group said UK & Ireland like-for-like revenue was up 8 per cent over the 10 weeks with online sales up 121 per cent, while international like-for-like sales rose 14 per cent.

“At present there are enforced closures of large parts of our operations across the UK, Ireland and Denmark and there is no certainty on when these will end,” CEO Alex Baldock said.

“The business has proven that it can deliver a strong trading performance irrespective of these restrictions.”

Revenue at the group’s UK & Ireland mobile phone division, which is being restructured, fell 40 per cent over the 10 weeks, reflecting a decision in March to close standalone Carphone Warehouse stores.

Dixons Carphone forecast full-year 2020-21 profits in line with market expectations despite the store closures.

Analysts were forecasting a pretax profit of £147 million (€165.5 million) on average prior to Wednesday’s update, down from £166 million made in 2019-20.

Shares in Dixons Carphone, down 13 per cent over the last year, closed Tuesday at 123.4 pence, valuing the business at £1.44 billion.

($1 = 0.7322 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jason Neely)