Dixons, which owns Currys and PC World, has posted a 76% surge in full-year pre-tax profits as it sees “glimmers” of a consumer recovery.
The electricals retailer recorded pre-tax profit of £166.2m for the year to April 30 against £94.5m the prior year. Total underlying group sales jumped 3% to £7.22bn.
Group online sales increased 16% to £1bn for the first time.
Dixons group chief executive Sebastian James said: “This has been a great year for the group with some excellent performances across our multichannel businesses, together with the achievement of a number of important strategic objectives.
“Our profits are up 76% from those we reported a year ago. This not only reflects the fact we have now exited all of our non-core markets, meaning we are now a leader in all our core markets, but is also a testament to the creativity and hard work of our teams.”
He added that since year end Dixons has been “trading well” because of the World Cup which has boosted TV sales.
He added: “But we also believe we are seeing the early glimmers of a consumer recovery. On this there is no certainty just yet, but what we know for sure is that if we maintain a tight rein on costs, [keep] our pricing sharp - against all comers - and our service levels high, customers will continue to choose us over others.”
In the year Dixons proposed a merger with Carphone Warehouse as it plans to develop an offer across electricals, mobile phones and connectivity. This week the European Commission confirmed that it has unconditionally cleared the plans.
Dixons said it had made strong progress in the UK and Ireland across the 12-month period where underlying profits advanced 24% to £141m and like-for-like sales jumped 5%. Sales increased 3% to £4.14bn.
It has opened a number of trial stores, including new high street formats in Bluewater and Canary Wharf and a new larger format two-in-one store in Aylesbury. It has recently opened Connected World departments in five megastores to showcase home automation and wearable technology.
Meanwhile its business in Greece showed signs of stability returning to the market as it reduced underlying losses from £11m the previous year to £10.5m, while like-for-like sales dropped 9%. Its Norwegian business, Elkjøp, delivered record sales up 2% to £2.79bn but underlying pre-tax profit fell to £116.9m from £125.4m.