// Dixons Carphone’s online electricals sales hit £4.3bn in year to May 1, driven by 114% increase in online UK sales
// However, revenues from mobiles fell 55% to a £117m loss
// Total sales rose 2% to £10.3bn with pre-tax profits hitting £33m – up from a pre-tax loss a year earlier of £140m
The parent company of Currys PC World has revealed it managed to more than double online sales of electronics as it shifted seamlessly to operating an improved web model during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Online electricals sales for Dixons Carphone hit £4.3 billion in the year to May 1, including a 114 per cent increase in online sales in the UK of £3.4 billion.
Bosses said the strong rise was due to offering online live chat functions with staff in stores, allowing customers to get real-time advice via video services.
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As a result, its total share of the online electricals market grew six percentage points over its rivals.
However, Dixons Carphone’s phone fascia, Carphone Warehouse, suffered heavily as the impact of store closures announced in March last year took its toll.
Revenues from mobiles fell 55 per cent to a loss of £117 million.
The strong year for Dixons Carphone – which is due to rebrand and change its name to Currys in September – came despite it being forced to close stores for large parts of the pandemic.
Total sales rose two per cent to £10.3 billion with pre-tax profits hitting £33 million – up from a pre-tax loss a year earlier of £140 million.
On an adjusted basis, profit before tax came in at £156 million compared to the £116 million recorded last year.
Sales in electricals rose 14 per cent but the total fell back due to the falling sales in the mobile division.
As a result of the performance, Dixons Carphone confirmed it has repaid £73 million claimed under the UK Government’s furlough scheme and a £144 million VAT deferral bill.
Following the repayments, bosses also revealed they would start paying a dividend to shareholders of 3p a share – worth around £34.7 million.
“I’m so proud of my colleagues. They’ve navigated the challenges of the pandemic with skill and energy, helped many millions of people enjoy vital technology, kept our transformation on track, and performed strongly,” chief executive Alex Baldock said.
“Our big investments in colleague wellbeing, skills and reward have meant more engaged colleagues, and in turn more satisfied customers. This bodes well for our sustainable success.
Technology has become even more central to people’s lives. As the market leader, with the winning omnichannel business model, we can make the most of that.
“The past year has seen us do so, growing a big online business and adding it to our in-store strengths.
“We’re now financially stronger too, allowing us to pay back over £200m to governments and to recommence our dividend.
“But we’re most excited about what lies ahead. New technology platforms will add more fuel to our growth and to innovation that customers love and no-one else can get close to, whether getting them their amazing technology ever-faster, or helping them 24/7 with live video shopping.
“This year, we move to one brand in the UK (as we have in each international market), and Currys can become ever-more the first choice for all things tech, electrical and mobile, products and services alike.
“The start of the financial year has seen continued strong trading in all our markets and I’m more confident than ever in our prospects.”
with PA Wires