FALTERING demand for “big ticket” electrical items and holidays will be measured this week when Dixons Retail and Thomas Cook post results.

The electronics market has been among the heaviest hit by the squeeze in consumer spending, forcing store chains to put on a raft of promotions, and Currys and PC World owner Dixons Retail is expected to reveal further sales declines and widening first-half losses on Thursday.

The group has been slugging it out with competitors in a battle for survival in a tough electronics market that has seen Best Buy throw in the towel in the UK and loss-making Comet sold for just £2.

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The City expects underlying first-half losses to have widened to between £29 million and £35m, compared with £6.9m the previous year, mainly as a result of dire trading in Italy and Greece.

The first half is normally loss-making for Dixons but analysts will be looking for any indications about current trading ahead of the key Christmas trading period.

Thomas Cook is expected to report a slide in annual profits on Thursday after unrest in North Africa and plummeting consumer confidence battered sales at the holiday giant.

The tour operator is forecast to disclose a 31 per cent slide in pre-tax profits to £191.1m in a year which has seen its share price plunge 80 per cent, numerous profits warnings and the exit of its chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

The dismal year prompted the holiday group to axe its dividend as it moves to repair its battered finances, which include debts of close to £1 billion. Thomas Cook was recently thrown a lifeline in the form of a short term £100m loan deal from its banks, but analysts will be looking for details of a long term turnaround plan.

Home repairs group Homeserve will give further insight into the impact of recent fears it had mis-sold policies when it unveils its half-year results on Tuesday.The firm, which insures three million people against burst pipes, broken down boilers and electrical problems, saw its share price slump 50 per cent after it uncovered sub-standard sales processes.

While the company is on track to meet City expectations of a 12 per cent rise in profits to £131m for the year to March 2012, it may take a hit from any business lost after suspending outgoing calls.