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Dixons Carphone reports rising sales and profits, but says Christmas of changing shopping habits will be ‘crucial’

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Dixons Carphone today reported rising sales and profits in its first half-year results as a newly-merged company. But chief executive Sebastian James said Christmas would be an important factor in the multichannel retailer’s full-year results, coming at a time when buying habits are changing fast.

“All in all, this has been a very good half-year but there is still a lot more of the year to go and a crucial Christmas to come, against a backdrop of big changes in how and when customers do their Christmas shopping,” said Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons Carphone. “Black Friday was an extraordinary – and fun – day but we are all acutely aware that there is no room for complacency. Ahead of this all-important peak period we remain comfortable with market expectations for this year; at the same time we know that we will need to keep our food on the gas if we are to achieve our ambitious longer-term goals.”

So far in the Christmas shopping period, both studies and other retailers have reported shoppers moving towards omnichannel shopping, buying online but collecting in store, while also ordering in store for home delivery.

Today Dixons Carphone reported group sales of £5bn in the first half, 5% up on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits of £78m were 30% up last year. But after one-off costs of £100m related to the merger of Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse, bottom-line losses stood at £20m.

The retailer trades as PC World , Currys and Carphone Warehouse and so far has opened 190 Carphone Warehouse stores within Currys and PC World stores, including 158 stores that were bought and converted from Phones4U after that retailer failed.

In the UK and Ireland market, like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, grew by 6% in the first half, and 11% in the second quarter, with a headline profit of £80m. The company also reported first-half like-for-like growth in its Northern European market (+5%), where headline profit came in at £20m, but a fall in like-for-like sales in Southern Europe (-11%), where headline losses totalled £4m.

Its Connected World business, which brings to the fore internet-connected products, reported revenues of £79m and a headline profit of £4m.

Chief executive James said: “We remain excited about the long-term potential of our Connected World Services business.” He added: “The integration of our business seems to be going better than I dared hope, and our integrated stores are trading very well which augurs well for the future.”

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