Dixons Carphone beats City expectations for Christmas sales

A combined Currys and PC World store.

A combined Currys and PC World store. - Credit: Archant

The newly-created company behind Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World said today it was trading ahead of expectations after a “rollercoaster” Christmas sparked by demand for Black Friday promotions.

Dixons Carphone, which is worth £5billion after a merger last summer, said like-for-like sales were up 8% in the UK and Ireland in the nine weeks to January 3, meaning annual profits would be stronger than City forecasts.

Chief executive Sebastian James said the “huge scale and success” of Black Friday promotions at the end of November caused a lull in trading over the following three weeks before a record Boxing Day.

He added: “The strange shape of this year’s Christmas trading was something of a rollercoaster but I am very pleased with the end result.”

Laptop sales returned to growth but a lack of new products meant tablet sales fell sharply in the period. The company also reported growth in “ultra-high-definition” TVs and a strong peak trading period in white goods.

A number of retailers have reported that Black Friday sales pulled trading into November, rather than growing overall revenues at Christmas.

Dixons Carphone, which benefited from the collapse of Phones 4u during the period, said its Black Friday growth was achieved without any impact on margins. It expects profits for the year to June will be stronger than market forecasts of between £355million and £375m.

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Its shares rose by more than 2% in early trading, with the 8% rise in UK like-for-like sales stronger than the 5% forecast in the City. Across the Europe-wide group, same-store sales were up 7%.

The company, which employs more than 40,000 people in 14 countries, was created with the aim of tapping into the way technology will transform households through the “Internet of Things”, as rapid internet speeds mean appliances can be controlled by the touch of a mobile device.

Such a retail behemoth would also be expected to have more power to stand up to online competition from electrical retail rivals such as AO World.