HEFTY writedowns on the value of its lossmaking Greek and Italian operations have plunged Dixons Retail, owner of PC World and Currys in the UK, nearly £119 million into the red.
That was down from a £224m loss in the previous year. Sebastian James, the new chief executive of Dixons, said despite £189.6m of provisions, which also included a hit on the company’s internet business, he remained committed to its Greek business, Kotsovolos.
There were also no plans to exit the Italian business, Unieuro, he said. “I don’t know how long it will take, but I think that market will come right,” James said of Greece, a country struggling to meet the terms of an international bailout and stay in the euro.
Sales of electrical goods in the country have plunged 55 per cent over three years. It was a much better picture in the UK and Ireland for Dixons, where underlying operating profits lifted 15 per cent to £78.8m in the year to 28 April.
James said: “I am especially pleased with the UK. It is really beginning to show a turnaround and is getting back to being a healthy business again.”
Excluding one-off items, Dixons’ underlying profit fell 17 per cent to £70.8m. This was at the top end of City expectations for the group, whose shares closed up over 7 per cent at 17.19p.
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