Currys owner Dixons sees sales slide further

Currys store The group said its store transformation programme was on track

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Electrical goods firm Dixons Retail has reported a sharp fall in sales, particularly in the UK and Irish Republic.

Like-for-like sales fell by 7% in the three months to 23 July compared with a year earlier. Total sales fell by 1%.

The firm said it had suffered from tough comparisons with the same period in 2010, which saw strong sales due to the football World Cup and iPad launch.

The retailer said the trading environment remained "fragile".

Figures published on Tuesday by the British Retail Consortium suggested UK retail sales fell in August, as weak consumer confidence and high inflation undermined High Street spending.

'Good progress'

Like-for-like sales at Dixons in the UK and Irish Republic fell by 10%, and by 9% on a total sales basis. Profit margins also fell slightly.

However, sales in the retailer's Nordic business rose by 4% on a like-for-like basis.

Despite the overall fall in sales, chief executive John Browett said the company had "outperformed its competitors during the quarter" and had "exited the period in good shape".

He added that the company had made "good progress on cost reductions" and would now make savings of £60m this financial year - £10m more than previously forecast.

He said the firm was on track to meet its full-year forecasts.

Dixons made a pre-tax loss of £224.1m for the year to April, after taking into account some large exceptional items.

It took a £309.4m impairment charge after closing operations in Spain and writing down the value of its Greek arm and its online business Pixmania.

Excluding the charge, the firm, which owns Currys and PC World, made profits of £85.3m.

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