Dixons Retail reports underlying profit of €87.87m

Electrical goods seller Dixons Retail eliminated more than £100 million (€124m) of net debt last year, but profits were dragged down by a poor performance in mainland Europe.

The England-based group, which operates the Currys, PC World and Dixons Travel chains, has reported an underlying profit of £70.8m (€87.87m) for the 12 months to the end of April. This, however, was down from a profit of £85.3m for the preceding financial year.

Profits in the group’s core Britain and Ireland division (the group has around 30 stores here) actually rose — from £68.7m to £78.8m; as they did in Northern Europe (Dixons also operates in Scandinavia and across six mainland European nations); from £102.1m to £113.9m. However, the southern European business — comprising Italy, Greece and Turkey — nearly doubled its annual losses to £30.4m.

On the sales side, the northern European division was the only one where revenue growth (11%) was noted. In southern Europe, sales were down by 5%, while Britain and Ireland sales fell by 2% (to £3.83bn); although management did note this core region “performed strongly against a tough market”.

Overall, group sales were down by 3% in the year, but net debt was also reduced from £206.8m to £104m.

Group chief executive Sebastian James said that the business remains “well-positioned” for the year ahead, having “outperformed our competitors and ended the year with positive momentum, delivering results at the top end of expectations”.

“Against a tough economic backdrop, we have continued to deliver on a clear plan to transform the business. The new financial year has got off to a good start, with the trends seen in the final quarter of last year, broadly continuing,” he added.

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