Electricals giant DSG International has reported a 10 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the 12 weeks to January 10, with double-digit falls at both Currys and PC World. However, the company's post-Christmas Sale started well.

Like-for-likes in the UK electricals business fell 12 per cent, while UK computing fell 13 per cent. International performance was poor too, with the Nordics like-for-likes down 9 per cent and southern Europe down 14 per cent.

E-commerce sales were the only bright spot, up 6 per cent. Total sterling sales were only down 1 per cent, aided by the strength of the euro. Gross margins fell 0.8 per cent because more products were being sold in the Sale and because televisions and laptops were a bigger part of the mix.

However, performance has improved in the post-Christmas sales, with group like-for-likes up 2 per cent in the final two weeks of the period, although the UK chains remained in negative territory.

The company said its new format stores were performing 15 to 25 per cent better than the rest of the chain. The company is trialling a variety of new formats including a combined PC World and Currys store.

"The sales pattern through the period was as we anticipated, with customers waiting for the post-Christmas sales to purchase discretionary products, particularly televisions and laptops," said chief executive John Browett