Dixons records Christmas cracker

Sales up

Dixons Group is celebrating a cracker of a Christmas after reporting that sales shot up an encouraging 12 per cent - a far cry from the turkey it suffered last year.

Group sales for the eight weeks ended January 10 were up five per cent on a like-for-like basis, with growth in the UK boosted by demand for new gadgets and gizmos including digital cameras, flat screen TVs and laptops.

Growth in these areas was partially offset by lower sales of games consoles, VCRs and traditional cameras.

Publishing interim results for the 28 weeks to mid November, the giant electrical retailer behind such brands as Dixons, Currys and PC World, reported that overall turnover increased by 21 per cent to £3.1 billion, up from £2.6 billion the previous year.

Pre-tax profit was up 9 per cent £103.4 million from £94.8 million.

Dixons chairman Sir John Collins said UK Christmas sales were in line with expectations.

"The group achieved solid results in the first half year, with good sales and profit growth in a challenging retail market," he said. "Performance in the UK has improved throughout the period and our International businesses have continued to make good progress."

"The group expects a satisfactory outcome for the year," the company said in a statement.

Dixons has described as "speculation" weekend press reports that the company could be ready to shut up to half of its 329 high street stores.

A spokeswoman for the retailer told The Register that it was just "speculation on behalf of one analyst".

By mid-morning shares in Dixons were up 9.5p (6.5 per cent) at 155.25p. ®

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