Dixons UK and Irish like-for-likes advanced 7% in its first quarter in what it said was an “encouraging start” to the year.

In the 12 weeks to July 21, like-for-likes over the entire group increased 5% and total sales edged up 2%

Although its Northern Europe business continued to trade stronglywith like-for-likes up 13%, the retailer said it was taking “appropriate actions” in its Italian and Greek businesses in tough economic environments.

Dixons’ Italian, Greek and Turkish like-for-likes plummeted 10% over the period.

Its Pixmania business also continues to be “challenging” according to the electricals specialist. Like-for-likes were down 3% in the quarter.

Dixons, which in the UK operates Currys and PC World, acquired a 22% interest in Pixmania earlier this month giving it day-to-day control of the group. Dixons chief executive Sebastian James said this allowed it to take the “decisive actions necessary” to improve the business’ performance.

Its multichannel sales surged 39% across the group over the quarter, and jumped 48% in the UK and Ireland.

Dixons chief executive Sebastian James said: “While it is still early in our financial year, I am encouraged by the start we have made across the group.  We have had a real boost from a busy summer of events in the UK and our Northern European operations continue to go from strength to strength.”

However, James warned that August was quieter across retail and is still cautious about the outlook in some of its markets. He said the retailer is, however, well placed for the back to school period and has some new excited products which will launch for Christmas.