DSG International has reported an “encouraging” start to the year with total group sales down 6% in Sterling and like-for-like sales down 6%.

For the 16 weeks ending August 22, the Currys and PC World owner said gross margins across the group were up 0.7% year-on-year.

The group said UK trading was in line with expectations, and sales growth was impacted by the anniversary of TV re-pricing, significantly lower levels of B2B sales in PC World, and the roll out of store refurbishments as part of its Renewal and Transformation plan.

In the UK and Ireland, electricals like-for-like growth was down 14%, and computing was down 15%. In the Nordics, like-for-like growth was up 9%.

108 stores have now been reformatted in the UK, and the group said it is on track to reformat an additional 60-80 stores, including five further Megastores, by the year end.

Group chief executive John Browett said: “Given the challenging environment, this is an encouraging start to the year. Our Nordic business is performing strongly, the UK transformation continues on plan with the refurbished stores continuing to outperform and the Italian turnaround is starting to deliver.”

DGSi has also entered into agreement for the sale of Electro World Poland to IDMSA Brokerage House, working with Mix Electronics and one of Poland’s largest electrical retailers. The sale, for a Euro1, involves the immediate transfer of all eight shops, operations and employees.

Browett said: “We remain cautious about the economic outlook. However, we are making good progress on our Renewal and Transformation plan to deliver an unbeatable combination of Value, Choice and Service for our customers.”