Incoming DSGi chief executive John Browett will start at the retail giant today, replacing John Clare who retired in September.

Browett, previously a director at Tesco, is facing many challenges in a troubled white goods market.

However, DSGi finance director Kevin O’Byrne has played down declining sales in both its Currys and Dixons stores.

He said: “January is much more important in the sale of white goods compared with November. We have a big-ticket Sale in January, which is as important as Christmas.”

Analysts forecast that DSGi’s troubled Italian business could make a full-year loss of between£5 million and £10 million.