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Dixons: We had a good summer, though southern Europe was a drag

Unleashes corrective action for Europe's bottom bit and web shop PIXmania

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Dixons Retail says a "busy summer of events" helped maintain momentum in its UK and Irish operations as sales climbed 7 per cent, but it's not yet ready to crack open the bubbly.

Revenue growth at group level for fiscal Q1 ended 21 July was less marked: up 5 per cent, as a 13 per cent climb in northern Europe and the sales rise closer to home was countered by a 10 per cent slide in southern Europe and a 3 per cent dip in PIXmania.

Gross margins were pretty much flat.

The firm has been through a series of restructures under previous boss John Browett including redundancies, store closures and reformatting and a revamp of customer services.

Dixons revealed today it is "taking appropriate action in continued difficult economic environments", specifically Italy and Greece. The firm last year closed PC City in Spain.

The retailer also recently acquired the remaining shareholding for PIXmania from the two founders to push through changes to that loss-making entity in a bid to return it to profit.

Sebastian James, chief exec at Dixons, said the group had a "real boost from a busy summer of events in the UK".

But he tempered the positive tones, "August has proved to be quieter across the retail sector in some of our markets and we continue to be cautious about the outlook".

The Back2School sales cycle and the launch of Windows 8 – which should result in a bunch of new PCs and devices – will provide a much-needed tonic for the remainder of the year, James added. ®

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