Dixons Retail still reaping benefits from Comet’s fall as profits and sales rise

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THE owner of PC World and Currys is continuing to fill the gap left by rival Comet, as it reported another sharp jump in sales and profits.

Dixons Retail Group said UK and Ireland like-for-like sales surged 12 per cent in the quarter of October 31.

It recorded profits for the first half of its financial year of £31.4m, compared with £6.9m a year earlier.

The company said the “particularly strong” start to the year was in part due to the exit of competitors, most notably Comet at the end of 2012.

However, it added: “Our relentless drive for better value, choice and service for customers has also helped CurrysPCWorld gain further market share, which we now believe stands at approximately 23 per cent.”

As well as demand for tablet computers, Dixons has benefited from more white goods sales following Comet’s demise.

Across the group, Dixons’ figures had been dragged lower by its troubled European arm PIXmania, but the group has since offloaded the business, as well as its loss-making ElectroWorld chain in Turkey.

Underlying group profits for the half year more than doubled to £30.2m. However, when write-downs on the value of discontinued operations are included, the bottom-line loss stood at £83.5m.Dixons’ shares, which have more than quadrupled in the last two years, opened lower yesterday.

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