Dixons Carphone sees “roller coaster” Christmas

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Group sales up nine per cent year-on-year and retailer predicts “higher-than-expected” yearly profit

Dixons Carphone has said that its trading over Christmas was “something of a roller-coaster” but predicted higher than expected yearly profits after sales for the holiday period grew seven per cent year on year.

The combined retailer revealed that like-for-like revenue for the nine weeks leading up to January 3 was up eight per cent in the UK and Ireland, not including newly opened stores.

The Christmas trading statement also revealed that the merged entity is predicting yearly pre-tax profits of between £355 million and £375 million, higher than its previous forecast of £354 million.

Dixons Carphone Group CEO Sebastian James said:“The strange shape of this year’s Christmas trading was something of a roller-coaster but I am very pleased with the end result. In all of our largest trading markets we have excellent like-for-like performance against fairly tough comparables.

The statement said pre-paid phone sales had fallen, replaced with post-paid contracts, and tablet sales had also dipped, which James blamed on a lack of innovation in the market.

He also said that the “huge scale and success” of its Black Friday sales weekend had an affect on trading in the following weeks, but customers had welcomed Boxing Day sales, leading to growth on last years “record breaking numbers”.

James told BBC’s Today Programme that he expects US retail tradition Black Friday, which sees retailers slash prices on the Friday following Thanksgiving, to “last forever” because it is now a “national institution.”

The results revealed a shift in the way customers make purchases, with online sales growing along with home delivery and click and collect.

The company was formed last year by the merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse, which was completed in August and resulted in the combined company becoming the biggest electronics retailer in Europe.

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