Currys has posted an increase in full-year earnings but cautioned that “the outlook for consumer spending is uncertain” as the cost-of-living crisis mounts.
The electricals giant registered a 19% uplift in adjusted pre-tax profit to £186m in the year to April 30. Adjusted EBIT climbed 5% to £274m in what it called “a year of significant change, uncertainty and disruption”.
Currys’ core UK and Ireland business delivered a 21% improvement in adjusted EBIT to £111m, while earnings from its international operations contracted 4% to £163m.
Group sales slipped 2% on a reported currency basis to £10.14bn and were down 3% on a like-for-like basis. Compared with pre-pandemic levels, however, like-for-likes rose 10%.
Total UK sales declined 3% in reported currencies to £5.48bn year on year as like-for-likes dropped 4%. On a two-year basis, like-for-likes were up 6%.
Sales in Currys’ international businesses held firmer, dipping just 1% on a reported basis to £4.66bn. Like-for-likes also slipped 1% year on year but jumped 15% on pre-pandemic levels.
Currys cautioned that the outlook remains “uncertain” and said it was taking a “prudent view” of the tech market.
The retailer pledged to offset inflation through its cost-reduction programme – it saved £69m during the financial year – and “vigilant day-to-day cost control”.
It insisted that its scale would allow it to “ride out these issues” in the coming months and “use the expected market weakness as an opportunity to gain share and build long-term value”.
Just this week, Currys’ online rival AO.com suffered an erosion of its value after it emerged that a major credit insurer had pulled cover. Yesterday, AO launched a £40m share placing to shore up its balance sheet and increase liquidity.
Currys boss Alex Baldock hailed the “strong results” and added: “A stronger business allows us to help customers through the cost-of-living crisis. Our well-established price promise means customers ‘won’t get it cheaper, full stop’ on all products and today we’re going even further with ‘2021 Price Lock’, our new price-freeze on dozens of great products.
“Our scale as an international market leader, our grip on costs and our strong relationships with suppliers will allow us to manage inflationary headwinds and keep amazing technology within reach of everyone, even now. That’s what Currys exists to do, and it’s never mattered more.”
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