Total sales up 14 per cent
DSG International, parent of Currys and Dixons, has reported a stellar start to its financial year, driven by sales of flat-panel televisions around the World Cup this summer.

Europe's largest electricals retailer said that during the 16 weeks to August 19, the group's total sales - including new business ventures - increased by 14 per cent, while like-for-like sales were up 5 per cent.

Like-for-like gross margins across the group were in line with last year. Overall gross margins were 'down slightly'.

Currys reported an 8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales and DSGi chief executive John Clare said that the move to make Dixons an online-only venture has started well and the rebranded stores are performing in line with expectations.

He added: 'The group has performed well in most of our markets during the first 16 weeks of this financial year.'

Like-for-like sales at Elkjop, DSGi's Scandinavian business, increased by 9 per cent, while the group's southern European business, which includes the Kotsovolos chain in Greece and UniEuro in Italy, posted a 3 per cent fall in like-for-like sales.

UniEuro's like-for-like sales fell 7 per cent. The group said the business was impacted by a subdued economy, political reforms and a tough competitive environment. DSGi said UniEuro's management has recently been strengthened and is focused on preparations for peak season.

PC World's like-for-like sales were flat.

Clare added: 'The important peak trading period is still ahead of us and it is much too early to extrapolate trends for the year as a whole. We are confident that our focus on serving the needs of our customers, in addition to cost management, margin protection, capital discipline and retail innovation position us well for further growth.'

DSGi also announced it is extending its Electro World brand into Turkey in the next two years, having entered into a joint venture agreement with a local operator.