The Dixons Group will continue its aggressive store opening policy, despite a 10 per cent drop in like-for-like sales for the year ending 2 May 1998.
The group added 98 stores to its arsenal last year and now plans to open another 100, creating about 2,000 jobs.
The results for the year ending 2 May were not as bad as expected following the profits warning that Dixons issued in January. Sir Stanley Kalms, chairman of the Dixons Group, stated: 'The immediate economic outlook is uncertain, but the group is in excellent shape and I believe we are well-placed to make further progress in the forthcoming year.' The drop in sales was blamed on 'significant fluctuations in demand', he said.
The past year held a number of problems and financial hits for the group, including a charge of #9 million for ensuring millennium compliance and integration costs of #6.4 million following the purchase of the Byte chain.
The group also crashed out of the FTSE 100, losing the right to call itself a blue chip company, on 23 March.
At the time, Steve Brazier, associate director at analyst Dataquest, said: 'Dixons was late to react to the aggressive price war with Tiny Computers at Christmas but could bounce back. It's a strong company.'
Dixons' profits were up 14 per cent to #217.6 million on a 16 per cent sales increase to #2.8 billion. The group's problems over the year have led to an erratic share price, which hit a high of 609p before plummeting to 472.5p. Following the results, the share price recovered, climbing 66p to 547p.
Dixons stores recorded sales of #689 million and PC World stores hit #572 million. There was also a post balance sheet event, relating to the purchase of the 39 Seeboard stores (PC Dealer, 8 July) for #19.5 million. The group intends to close two thirds of the stores but retain the 550 staff.
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