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Dixons ditches discounts, sees shares rise 7% Tuesday, 17th January 2012
Europe’s second largest electrical goods retailer on Tuesday announced it had outperformed rivals Argos and Comet over Christmas trading in December.
Shares in Dixons, which also owns Currys and PC World in Britain, rose over 7 per cent this morning after the firm said group sales at stores open a year fell 5 per cent in the 12 weeks to 7 January.
The result came within analyst forecasts of a 4-6 per cent fall for the period and a decrease of 3 per cent in the second quarter.
Dixons said gross profit margins across the group were flat year on year, although it managed to trump rivals thanks to a store revamp programme focused on strengthening its megastores and cutting costs.
"We were ahead (of rivals). You can see it in some of the competitors' numbers," Chief Executive John Browett told reporters.
"We had an amazing run on tablets, readers, iPads and Kindles . It's clear to us we've done well in those markets," he said.
In the UK like-for-like sales fell 7 per cent, although gross margins rose 0.4 percentage points.
Despite a 10 per cent fall in like-for-like sales over the 12 week period at Dixons' Southern Europe division, which includes Italy and Greece, Browett said the group had performed solidly in the peak trading period and now had cash and bank facilities to make a £150 million bond repayment due in November.