This news helped put the Nikkei 225 under pressure overnight, down -1.74% at 13,014.
We start with preliminary full year numbers from Dixons. Underlying pre-tax profits are up +15% to £94.5 million while group underlying total sales and like-for-like sales are up +4%. Like-for-like sales in the final quarter climb +13% in the UK & Ireland and +14% in Northern Europe.
Group costs have been cut by £45 million Dixons claim as part of its two year £90 million cost reduction initiative; it also reports "very strong" cash generation with net cash of £42.1 million versus net debt of £104.0 million.
"The economic backdrop remains tough; we will have to strive hard to keep up our momentum," says Sebastian James, chief exec. Dixons has gained significantly from the demise of Comet.
Wholesale sales for the period were +41% up and gross margins in line with last year. Product and territorial licences continue to perform well with new store openings in Adelaide, Beirut, and Kuwait, says the company.
The e-commerce business also continued to perform "well". "As ever," says chief exec Ray Kelvin, "the outcome for the full year will be dependent on the second half, we remain very confident of our prospects."
Lastly, a pre-close trading update from the Go-Ahead Group. The company describes performance as "resilient" with overall full year expectations unchanged. The bus division is on track to deliver a better than expected result for the full year; rail passenger numbers and revenue in its three franchises has improved in recent weeks it says.
However rail profitability is expected to be lower next year. In March 2014 Southeastern will begin a seven month extension period continuing on the original contract assumptions, which will not be profitable for the Group says the company.
"We expect our bus division to continue to make good progress towards our bus operating profit target of £100m by 2015/16," says the company. "Rail profitability is expected to be lower next year due to Southeastern's unprofitable extension period and the challenging trading conditions in the Southern franchise."