Electricals market leader DSGi, owner of the Currys and PC World chains, reported that sales trends have improved and posted a lower than expected interim loss.
The retailer, which is in the midst of a renewal and transformation plan spearheaded by chief executive John Browett, said shoppers have responded well to changes made, such as store reformatting, the launch of megastores and service initiatives such as TechGuys.
Browett said: “We have seen improving trends in a number of our businesses, particularly in recent weeks. While we are cautious about the outlook for 2010, we are well-positioned as we enter into peak trading with compelling offers for customers.
“The economic backdrop remains uncertain. However the group is well prepared with a focus on managing costs, margins, stock-turn and cashflow alongside the continued rapid progress of the renewal and transformation plan.”
DSGi made a flat underlying pre-tax loss of £17.6m on group sales down 1% to £3.33bn in the 24 weeks to October 17. Group like-for-likes fell 4% but rose 1% in the last eight weeks of the half.
Underlying retail profit was £10m compared to a loss of £6.3m in the comparable period last year.
At the core UK and Ireland division, sales fell 11% to £1.63bn and like-for-likes slid 11% - the declines were 9% and 15% respectively in the electricals and computing businesses.
KBC Peel Hunt analyst had expected DSGi to post a loss of £25m. He said: “The refurbs programme continues to deliver double-digit gross profit gains, while cost-savings are also on track.”