Dixons Retail will be in festive mood after a trading update revealed the company performed impressively over Christmas, with its home market leading the charge.
UK and Ireland sales for the 12 weeks to 5 January rose seven per cent annually. Revenue in the Nordics and central Europe grew nine per cent in local currencies, and seven per cent as measured in sterling.
The more volatile southern Europe region saw turnover down two per cent year on year in local currencies, translating to a six per cent sterling decline. Dixons' PIXmania e-tail business endured a 25 per cent revenue decline over the quarter. Overall group sales were up two per cent during the period.
The weak performance of its online sales operation was chalked up to an ongoing restructuring process. Chief executive Sebastian James said the division's performance was "disappointing", but claimed the business rejig was "making good progress".
"Our key multi-channel businesses delivered an encouragingly strong result during the Christmas period, particularly in the UK and Ireland and in northern Europe," he added.
"In Italy and Greece I was pleased to see our businesses trading ahead of weak local markets and continuing to manage profitability robustly. Tablet sales were phenomenal across our markets, which was good to see but which impacted overall headline margins somewhat. White goods were also strong, particularly in the UK.
"In the year ahead, while we will manage our cost base cautiously, we see many opportunities to improve the overall performance of our group through further developments in our service offer for customers, sharing best practice, controlling costs and focusing on multi-channel growth."
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