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Exceptional charges wipe out Dixons Retail profits

Simon Quicke

Exceptional charges and a tough economic climate have wiped out any profits that Dixons Retail hoped to deliver in the last fiscal year. 

The costs of shutting down its Spanish operation, writing down the Greek arm and having to take a hit on its online business Pixmania all took their toll.

The charges amounted to £309.4m, which produced an overall pre-tax loss in the year ended 30 April of £224.1m.

Without the charges Dixons would have dished up profits of £85.3m with trading down just 2% year-on-year.

Its performance in the UK, which includes PC World and Currys, was down by 3% with a turnover of £3.8bn.

John Browett, chief executive of Dixons, said it had managed to maintain margins and profits despite challenging conditions. "We are consistently outperforming our markets and gaining share because of our renewal and transformation plan," he said.

As part of that plan the retailer has revamped stores and stepped up the customer service it provides.

However it added that without the boon of a World Cup or iPad launch to help drive sales, it was set for a challenging year.

The Dixons figures come just a day after Kesa, owner of Comet, indicated that it might be looking to sell off that business. Comet closed two stores in the last financial year and continues to struggle.

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