Currys owner Dixons Retail sees strong Christmas sales

Sebastian James, group chief executive of Dixons Retail, says the results are "really good news"

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Dixons Retail, the electrical goods retailer that owns Currys and PC World, has reported a strong Christmas sales period.

Like-for-like sales - which strip out the effect of store openings and closures - in the UK and Ireland rose 5% in the three months to 4 January, with internet-led sales up 23%.

Boxing Day sales were the strongest in Dixons' UK history, the company said.

Business "took off like a rocket", said group chief executive Sebastian James.

Elsewhere in Europe sales growth was slower, leading to total like-for-like sales growth of 3% over the period.

"This has been a lively Christmas with plenty of ups and downs and I am pleased to report that we have turned in a good performance," said Mr James.

"We have consolidated last year's strong gains and I am confident that we have gained further market share."

Cautious outlook

But he warned that the UK economic recovery was "still fledgling" and that performance in the remainder of the company's financial year would be "more modest than the year to date".

Mr James told the BBC he was hoping new technologies, such as 4K ultra high definition TVs, would help keep sales buoyant in the quieter new year period.

Dixons, which has benefited from the demise of rival Comet over a year ago, has been bringing the Currys and PC World brands together under one roof in an effort to cut costs and simplify its business.

The group's share price was down more than 3% following Mr James' note of caution, but is still up about 80% over the last 52-week period.

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