UK electricals leader changes name
Dixons Group this morning announced that sales increased by 8 per cent to£6.98 billion in the year to April 30 and international sales were£2.16 billion. A third of group sales were generated by the international business in the second half.

Group like-for-like sales grew 2 per cent, and UK like-for-like sales were up 2 per cent. International like-for-likes also increased, by 1 per cent.

Pre-tax profit was down 8 per cent to£336.8 million, including a net exceptional gain of£900,000, compared with£366.2 million for the year before, which included a net exceptional gain of£38.8 million.

The electricals group is also changing its corporate name to DSG International, which the retailer believes supports its global aspirations.

Following high street store closures at the beginning of the year, total sales at the Dixons chain were down 14 per cent, with like-for-likes up 4 per cent.

Sales at Currys were up 6 per cent and like-for-likes climbed 6 per cent for the full year.

PC World sales grew 11 per cent, but like-for-like sales were down 2 per cent, hit by price deflation. Total sales at The Link were up 4 per cent, with like-for-like sales up 2 per cent.

International retail sales increased 23 per cent in total, including the contribution from Greek business Kotsovolos, acquired during the financial year. The Group also accelerated store expansion for PC City in France and has plans to enter the Polish market with Electro World and Portugal with PC City. The company has signed a deal with the number one Russian electricals retailer Eldorado, which gives it the option to buy in 2008.

'In the UK, it was a year of two halves, with strong like-for-like sales growth in the first half offset by the impact of tougher conditions in the second half,' said Dixons Group chief executive John Clare.

'We are in the process of leveraging the benefits of our international scale through greater integration of buying, distribution and systems across all 13 countries in which we operate. In support of this we have made good progress with the development of our business into two divisions of Electricals, and Computing and Communications, which lays the foundation for a truly international integrated electricals business.'