Tough market hits PC World and The Link
Dixons Group today revealed a 1 per cent drop in like-for-like sales over the 24 weeks to April 30, in the latest sign of the toughening market.

The UK business showed a like-for-like fall of 2 per cent over the period. Trading at PC World and The Link proved particularly difficult, with like-for-likes down 8 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

Price deflation was blamed for the computer chain's sales, while a fall in the number of new contracts hit The Link. Italian business UniEuro also recorded slowing sales.

However, the performance of the Dixons and Currys chains was better, up 2 per cent and 5 per cent like for like, respectively. The best performance was from Dixons' Nordic business, Elkjop, which showed a 6 per cent rise.

Group chief executive John Clare (pictured) said that the company had reacted to the slowdown in consumer spending. 'We have managed our business accordingly and have focussed on margins, costs and service,' he said.

Clare added that the company's full-year results, to be announced on June 22, would be in line with market expectations.

Dixons is increasingly focused on its growing international business, and today's figures show significant growth in total sales, up 29 per cent in the 24 weeks to April 30.

The company is expanding its PC City business in France and Spain, and its Electro World concept in Eastern Europe.