Dixons Carphone 'could move from high street survivor to high street winner' after festive sales boost

Around three in four pounds of revenue made by Currys owner Dixons Carphone over the festive period in the UK and Ireland came from customers placing orders online.

Dixons Carphone is behind the Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse brands. Picture: Nick Ansell
Dixons Carphone is behind the Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse brands. Picture: Nick Ansell

The group, which also owns PC World, revealed that online electronics sales jumped 121 per cent in the UK and Ireland over the ten weeks to January 9 as shops were either shut or faced tighter restrictions.

Also announcing an increase in market share, chief executive Alex Baldock said: “We’re winning online, where we’re the biggest and fastest-growing specialist technology retailer in all our markets.”

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The news came as the business faces an uncertain few months. Lockdowns in the UK, Ireland and Denmark currently mean that large parts of its operations are mothballed with no end in sight.

Regardless, the group reassured shareholders that it expects to report full-year profits in line with market expectations, and kept to its medium-term guidance.

Overall, electrical like-for-like revenue grew 11 per cent, boosted especially by large-screen TVs, smart devices, food preparation products, the health and beauty category and “all areas” of computing and gaming.

However, in the UK and Ireland, the group’s decision to close its standalone Carphone Warehouse stores is taking a toll, sending mobile revenue down by 40 per cent.

In the UK and Ireland, online sales accounted for 75 per cent of revenue in the period, while making up 30 per cent in the Nordics and 48 per cent in Greece.

John Moore, senior investment manager at investment firm Brewin Dolphin, said: “Trading at Dixons Carphone group was strong over the peak Christmas trading period, despite the obvious challenges that lockdown measures presented to its business.

“The core electrical division saw an increase in sales of large TVs, as well as home entertainment and appliances more generally, clearly demonstrating the dual approach to sales it has been taking works well for the brand.

“Elsewhere, the retailer continues to learn from consumer changes and, with strategic progress at its mobile division seemingly on track – albeit, still a drag at this stage – it could move from high street survivor to high street winner over the longer term.”

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