Dixons Carphone has given a gold star to its UK business after describing its H1 performance as "barnstorming".
Overall at the company, for the 31 weeks to 21 November, group revenue was up five per cent annually to £5.02bn, driven by strong electronics and mobile sales in the UK.
Pro-forma profit before tax rocketed 30 per cent year on year to £78m but the firm was left with a statutory loss before tax from continuing operations of £20m - compared with £27m a year ago - following one-off charges including those relating to restructuring in its Dutch and German units.
The Dixons Carphone brand was born in May this year after Dixons - which at the time owned just PC World and Currys - snapped up Carphone Warehouse in a £3.8bn deal. In the summer, The firm offered a lifeline to troubled Phones 4U staff after the retailer fell into administration - it offered 800 Phones 4U staff who worked in Dixons "stores within a store" a job.
Dixons Carphone's chief executive Sebastian James said the phone retailer's demise played a part in the strong UK performance in H1.
"We have seen a barnstorming performance from our UK and Ireland division," he said. "This has been driven by continued improvements in price and service, competitive changes, technology launches and some recovery in the economy.
"Our mobile business in the UK and Ireland also performed well... as the business benefited from the closure of Phones 4U and some particularly successful product launches. Whilst the Phones 4U closure created new market opportunities it also presented a short-term requirement for increased investment."
He added it was a mixed bag for the IT side of the business in the UK.
"In computing, the laptop market appears to be stabilising, whilst tablets were down year on year due to limited product innovation," he said.
In Northern Europe, revenue rose five per cent annually to £1.63bn while in Southern Europe, sales were down 11 per cent over the same period to £357m.
James said the Nordics business was "very strong" in H1 thanks to improved sales across all segments, but could not say the same for the German and Dutch units.
"In contrast, conditions are tough in Germany and the Netherlands and we have taken decisions to accelerate a review and restructuring of these businesses," he said.
"In the Netherlands the market proved to be much more challenging than anticipated and we have expedited its restructuring. To better position ourselves in this market we are closing 50 stores and reducing head office costs.
"As previously announced, we are also closing our retail and wholesale hardware operations in Germany."
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