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Dixons predicts Olympics will boost sales

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Dixons Retail has reported a sharp drop in sales, particularly in the UK and Ireland, but it still feels like it's doing well and the market seems to agree.

The group, which includes PC World and Currys, said like-for-like sales in the first quarter in UK and Ireland fell 10 per cent and slid 7 per cent across the total group.

The British and Irish have shown a continued lack of confidence in the ability of their economies to pull out of the global recession and are hanging onto their money against further inflationary pressures on their household budgets. Technology retailers have been particularly hard-hit, relying as they do on the willingness of people to pay for big-ticket items.

But Dixons felt it wasn't entirely fair on the group to compare this summer to last summer, when it had the World Cup pushing TV sales as well as the launch of the iPad. However, it admitted that "underlying market conditions have remained challenging this year". The group said this quarter's results were as it anticipated and it was also on track for its full year expectations.

Chief executive John Browett said he was feeling good about next summer, with the London Olympics and other sporting events helping to boost sales of 3DTVs, the Financial Times reported.

He added that the company wasn't expecting to suffer financially from having some of its stores looted in the riots in August, as insurance payouts would cover the damage.

And his positive attitude, along with Dixons' explanations for the drop, seemed to be carrying weight in the market, as shares were rising in early morning trading following the announcement. ®

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