For the year to 30 April Dixons Retail, which owns electrical retailers PC World and Currys, said UK sales at stores open for more than a year were up 5 per cent while total sales increased 3 per cent to £4.1bn. Underlying profits increased to £141m, up from £113.3m a year ago.
Across the whole business, sales increased 3 per cent to £7.2bn. Online sales were a particular high point, up 16 per cent to hit £1bn for the first time.
Dixons says its customer metrics are at their highest ever recorded levels in all markets and that the group is in a strong financial position, buoyed by an encouraging performance in the first two months of the current year.
Sebastian James, chief executive at Dixons, says: “The new financial year has started well, with an uplift in TV sales driven by the World Cup, but we also believe we are seeing the early glimmers of a consumer recovery.
“On this there is no certainty just yet, but what we know for sure is that if we maintain a tight rein on costs, our pricing sharp – against all comers – and our service levels high, customers will continue to choose us over others.”
The figures come as Dixons Retail prepares to merge with Carphone Warehouse in a deal worth £3.8bn. The move is aimed at creating a “world class retailer for the digital age”, positioning the new business to take advantage of the “internet of things”, where devices such as boilers, lighting and fridges are all connected to the internet.
The European Commission has now unconditionally cleared the proposed merger. The firms expect the deal to go through this year.
James says “This has been a great year for the group with some excellent performances across our multichannel businesses.
“I am very excited about the opportunities that the proposed merger with Carphone Warehouse offers for the group. We will build what I hope will be the first and best truly multichannel proposition that allows customers not only to buy and experience the explosion of new connected products that are emerging but also to get the advice, connectivity and services that will allow them to use technology as it should be used – to make their lives better.”
Carphone Warehouse also posted a “strong” full-year performance, with like-for-like sales up 5.3 per cent and pre-tax profits rising 6 per cent to £133m. It says it maintained its market share despite a 6.4 per cent drop in connection volumes, due mainly to an industry-wide decline in the pre-pay phone market.
It says 4G is a “major new dynamic in the mobile marketplace”, helping to increase its appeal to customers.