Dixons chief executive Sebastian James says the brand is becoming “a winner” after returning to growth in its full-year figures.

The retailer, which owns Currys and PC World, revealed group underlying pre-tax profit up 15% to £94.5m, while group underlying total sales were up 4% to £8.21bn in the year to April 30.

Like-for-like sales also jumped 4% while gross margins slipped 0.7%.

Dixons said it made good progress in the UK and Ireland reporting a 39% profit surge. Northern Europe profits increased 6% while Southern Europe gave a “robust” performance in “difficult” markets.

However, the overall performance of the group was dragged down by a “poor performance” in its PIXmania business, which was restructured to reduce losses. This and the disposal of B2B service provider Equanet caused the retailer restructuring and impairment charges of £168.8m.

Taking these into account the firm made a pretax loss of £115.3m versus a loss of £118.8m the previous year.

Dixons group costs were reduced by £45m in the year as part of the two-year £90m cost reduction initiative. And the retailer created “very strong” cash generation with net cash of £42.1m against net debt of £104m at the start of the year.  

Dixons said it had made good progress in its three strategic priorities which include driving a successful and sustainable business in a multichannel world, to be a leader in each of its markets and align the group across its markets.  

James said: “We have returned to growth for the group as a whole, and also to a net cash position, marking an important milestone in our transition from survivor to winner. On all of our strategic priorities I am pleased with the progress we have made, even though I am, of course, impatient for us to achieve even more, even faster, particularly in focusing on markets where we are, or can be, a leader.”

He added that the retailer cannot be complacent as the “economic backdrop remains tough”.

In the year Dixons invested in improving its multichannel offer and has overhauled how it communicates with its customers away from traditional advertising, as well as broadening its supplier relationships. In addition its Knowhow services brand grew value added services by 54% in the UK.

Dixons has strengthened its position in UK and Ireland, Northern Europe and Greece and is now looking to improve its brand strength in Italy and Turkey.

James added: “The year ahead offers many fantastic opportunities for us and we have plans which touch every part of our business to make things better, easier and faster. I believe that many of our stores are now among the very best in the world, but I recognise that we need to make sure that the experience in our stores is completely consistent - from Truro to Tromsø; every day we must find new ways to surprise, delight and improve the lives of our customers.”