New consoles and Black Friday to buoy Dixons Carphone sales

PA

New games consoles and Black Friday are expected to have buoyed sales at Dixons Carphone as the tech retailer group reports its latest set of figures.

The group, which runs Currys PC World, will reveal its results for the past six months to shareholders in an update on Wednesday December 16.

Investors will be hopeful that it has continued to deliver soaring online sales amid high demand for games consoles and promotions.

In September, the group said online sales in the UK and Ireland tripled during the first national lockdown and shareholders will be keen to see this momentum continue.

However, the company will also face scrutiny over its £200 million cost-saving plans, which saw the group slash hundreds of jobs earlier this year.

About £100 million of this is related to the company’s mobile business, which has suffered a major overhaul following the closure of all 531 Carphone Warehouse stores.

Nevertheless, Liberum analysts said they expect this to aid profit recovery. “While we do not expect a return to historic profit levels over the medium-term, we still see a very strong support to current forecasts,” they said.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the group has been “very cautious” in its outlook despite a rebound driven by online sales.

She said: “New versions of the Playstation and Xbox consoles, and the demand for gaming accessories, should have kept sales brisk during the autumn.

“Dixons also chose to start Black Friday promotions early this year, to help compete against the might of Amazon.

“Ongoing disruption to travel and tourism has meant footfall is still very light in airports, so sales at its travel stores are likely to still be depressed.”

Online rival AO World posted a first-half profit last month after customers flocked to online platforms amid pandemic restrictions.

Shares in Dixons Carphone rebounded strongly last month despite the closure of stores but have slid during December amid caution among traders.

The Black Friday sales period saw strong demand for technology although the company said sales on the day were impacted by a technical fault.

Curry’s PC World faced a growing number of complaints this week in relation to cancelled Black Friday purchases, which customers only learned about after the sales period was over.

The electronics retailer apologised for “the inconvenience caused” after it blamed the fault for causing some orders to fail, even though it had sent confirmation emails.

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