Business

Dixons Carphone profits jump 19%

A Carphone Warehouse sign Image copyright Reuters

Profits at Dixons Carphone have jumped 19% after a rise in sales of phones and domestic appliances in its home market.

In the six months to 29 October, pre-tax profits climbed to £144m while sales rose 4% to £4.9bn.

The firm said it had seen no effect on consumer demand as a consequence of the Brexit vote, but was planning for "more uncertain times".

"In particular, we have been focusing on reducing our fixed cost base," said Seb James, group chief executive.

Despite the good news, the firm's shares slipped 5.5% in early trade.

Its stock has fallen by a third this year, amid investors' concerns over the impact of the weak pound on costs and demand next year.

Store closures

In the period, Dixon Carphone reported growth in all its main divisions, including a 23% jump in sales in Nordic countries, where it benefited from the weaker pound.

Sales were also positive in its core markets, the UK and Ireland, where it trades under the brands Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse.

That was partly driven by higher sales of mobiles and consumer electronics, as well as a plan to reduce store numbers.

The company aims to close 134 outlets while it rolls out electrical superstores that merge its three main brands.

Dixons Carphone was created from the £5bn merger between Dixons and Carphone Warehouse in 2014. It employs 42,000 staff in the UK and overseas.

Mr James called the results a "strong start" to 2016, but said the firm was preparing for "all eventualities" in 2017.

"In particular, we have been focusing on... identifying areas of potential market share growth if the world becomes a tougher place for our competitors," he said.

"We are also planning our offer so that potential currency impacts are minimised for the customer."

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