Electricals retail group Dixons Retail has today reported a 13 per cent like-for-like (LFL) sales rise across its UK & Ireland operations in its full year as it announced it was in “the best position it has been in for many years”.
Dixons said that it has benefitted from the demise of rivals such as Comet, which collapsed into administration last year, gaining “more than our share of the market” as it strengthened its customer offer, while total sales climbed seven per cent in the year to April 30th 2013.
As such, the group added that full-year profit before tax is expected to be at the top end of market expectations of £75 million to £85 million.
Across its UK & Ireland business, LFLs jumped 13 per cent while Northern Europe saw LFLs increase 14 per cent amid greater market share gains, whereas Southern Europe suffered due to “extremely difficult market conditions” with LFLs declining five per cent.
Encouraging performances were seen across its multichannel businesses both domestically and across Europe as LFL sales rose seven per cent over the year.
For the fourth quarter, the multichannel business delivered “very pleasing momentum” with LFLs up 11 per cent on the same period a year earlier.
Dixons CEO Sebastian James said of the positive performance: “This strong year puts Dixons in the best position it has been in for many years.
“We have worked hard to improve the conversation that we have with our customers and to improve our shops and our prices.
“This is paying off as customers increasingly choose us when they need electrical products, and – more importantly – tell us that they like what we are doing.
“I believe that we have a clear business model that allows us to flourish in an internet world.
“I am very pleased to see us gaining share in nearly all of our multichannel businesses across Europe and could not be more excited or proud to be part of this team.”
Since January, the group has worked to dispose of unprofitable businesses as it looks to refocus its operations, closing all of its Pixmania stores as part of a broader turnaround plan, disposing of IT firm Equanet and selling off its Swedish business Webhallen.
Dixons has also moved to combine its Currys and PC World fascias over the year as it looks to simplify its portfolio and focus on strengthening customer service while providing greater interactivity in-store.
Improved cash generation has seen the group end the year in a net cash position for the first time “in a number of years”.
James is positive about the group’s position as the last remaining specialist in the market, commenting: “It has been a busy time with the start of a profound restructuring of parts of the portfolio, major changes in the competitive landscape, significant cost savings achieved and with the continued drive to transform our stores.
“But there is still lots to do – we are continuing with more customer initiatives across our brands, on-line and in all of our services operations to make Dixons an even better place to shop.
“We remain steadfastly focused on sorting out our businesses in more challenged markets and in particular Pixmania.
“Above all we are enjoying the feeling of a little wind in our sails and we want to make sure that, in spite of continued economic uncertainty, this carries on into next year and beyond.”