Miranda Dobson

Dixons recovers from five-year slump

Electronics retailer Dixons returned to profitability for the first time in five years, according to its interim results published on Thursday.

The store pushed sales volumes up by 3% in the first half, while operating profits rose to £5.6m after a loss of £6m in the corresponding period in 2011.

Dixons said that, although it is too early to tell, the downfall of its rival store Comet could be an advantage, and chief executive Sebastian James commented: “We are outpacing our competitors.”

The retailer said celebrations and sporting events over the summer had boosted sales and, despite a dip in August and September, trade was recovering.

Multi-channel selling worked well for Dixons, according to its results, as the company said that although 92% of purchases were in store, approximately 80% of shopping trips involved the internet in some form.

Mr James continued: “It is increasingly clear in each of our markets that our service-based, multi-channel business model is what customers want.

“We have made good early progress on our three strategic priorities of driving a sustainable business in a multi-channel world, building on our leading market positions and have started to make some progress in sharing best practices across the Group.

“We have significantly reduced net debt, successfully undertaken a £150 million bond issue and delivered good underlying profit growth in the UK and Northern Europe.

“We have also improved our performance in Southern Europe and having now assumed full day to day control of PIXmania, we are taking actions to improve its poor performance.”

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