Online sales boost Currys PC World despite Covid closures

Strong growth in Irish stores as customers shift to online shopping

The group, which trades as Currys PC World in Ireland, said electricals like-for-like growth was 39 per cent for the year to May 1st. Photograph: iStock

The group, which trades as Currys PC World in Ireland, said electricals like-for-like growth was 39 per cent for the year to May 1st. Photograph: iStock

 

Electrical retailer Dixons Carphone reported a strong performance in Ireland, despite ongoing coronavirus restrictions that closed stores for several weeks.

The group, which trades as Currys PC World in Ireland, said electricals like-for-like growth was 39 per cent for the year to May 1st.

During the period, the group launched its ShopLive service, while its order and collect, and online sales showed fast growth. Sales on its online channel, currys.ie, rose 137 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The retailer also repaid the Government’s €3.75 million wage subsidy scheme.

“The performance of Currys PC World in Ireland is a testament to the hard work of all our colleagues who’ve pivoted, innovated fast and delivered for customers, however they’ve chosen to shop.

“Customers responded to our strong omnichannel offering in Ireland both in store and online at currys.ie,” said Jim O’Hagan, managing director for Ireland. “We have an exciting year ahead, including moving to one brand as part of the rebrand of the UK & Ireland businesses to Currys, a new technology platform and further developing ShopLive, all of which will drive our growth even further.”

The group closed its Carphone Warehouse stores in April with the loss of almost 500 jobs. The parent company had blamed changes in how people are shopping for the decision, saying it was “a necessary step” in the company’s mobile transformation.

Closures

Dixons Carphone also said it would shut its airport stores in Dublin and Belfast.

The parent group posted a 34 per cent rise in annual profit on Wednesday and said it would resume paying dividends after strong online sales helped the British electricals retailer offset store closures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The retailer reported an adjusted pretax profit of £156 million (€182 million) for the year to May 1st, topping guidance of £151 million (€176 million) and the £116 million (€135 million) it earned in 2019-20.

The group proposed a full-year dividend of 3.0 pence per share.

Dixons Carphone has benefited from people working from home and buying equipment for their houses online.

Revenue rose 2 per cent to £10.3 billion (€12 billion), with like-for-like sales of electricals up 14 per cent despite stores in the UK, Ireland, Norway, Denmark and Greece being shut for substantial periods.

Electricals online sales more than doubled to £4.7 billion (€5.4 billion).

“Technology has become even more central to people’s lives. As the market leader, with the winning omnichannel business model, we can make the most of that,” chief executive Alex Baldock said.

The group, which plans to change its name to Currys in September, said it had seen continued strong trading in the new 2021-22 financial year.

“We continue to see evidence that our markets will be structurally larger post-pandemic, it said.

– Additional reporting: Reuters