Dixons Carphone has reported a strong festive season in its first Christmas update since forming the new company last year.

Dixons Carphone has reported a strong festive season in its first Christmas update since forming the new company last year.

The electricals giant reported group like-for-likes up 7% and it expects full-year group pro forma headline pretax profit to be in the range of £355m to £375m, ahead of market consensus.

Dixons Carphone group chief executive Sebastian James noted the “strange shape of this year’s Christmas trading” due to Black Friday pulling forward sales, and added the festive season was “something of a roller coaster”.

But he said: “I am very pleased with the end result.”

Total sales were up 8% in the 9 weeks to January 3 and increased 6% in northern Europe. However revenue declined 4% in southern Europe.

James said: “In all of our largest trading markets we have excellent like-for-like performance against fairly tough comparables. At the same time, we have also experienced stable gross margin.”

Market share gains

The retailer said it achieved “further market share gains” across electricals and mobile in the UK & Ireland, Nordics and Greece. It said online sales had risen as a proportion of total revenue, and reported “excellent” growth in home delivery and click and collect.

James said: “There is no doubt that the huge scale and success of our Black Friday promotion impacted the three weeks that followed, but it was good to see customers respond positively to the deals that we had on Boxing Day where we saw growth from our record-breaking numbers last year in both the UK and Nordics. Our availability, pricing, service and marketing were all achieving very strong performance and customer metrics, and this translated into growth in market share in all our key territories over the period.”

The retailer said that continued investment in price and service, as well as the impact of the decline in the value of the Norwegian Krone, has not negatively affected its full-year profit guidance.

James said laptops had returned to growth in the period but that tablet sales “fell sharply as we saw less innovation in the category”.

He said Dixons Carphone achieved “excellent growth in ultra-high-definition TVs as people, rightly, trade into the newer technologies. Finally, white goods had a very good peak-trading period across the board with particularly rapid growth in online”.

James added: “I have been consistently impressed by the way in which our teams have kept the great engines of the business turning through what must be one of the biggest years of change in our history.”