Dixons' Christmas not complete disaster

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Dixons' Christmas not complete disaster

Alex Scroxton

shopping concept.jpgDespite presiding over yet another drop in both underlying and like-for-like sales during the 12 weeks to 7 January, Dixons Retail chief John Browett has been given a resounding thumbs up by shareholders.

In a trading statement for the festive period Browett referred to a "solid performance against a challenging backdrop" as UK sales dropped 7% and total group sales fell 5%.

"Our service-led business model continues to win over customers in key markets. We have made significant progress with [in-store services offering] KNOWHOW and see further opportunities to develop our services," said the boss.

On a conference call with investors and analysts, Browett said the firm had seen strong trading on goods such as iPads and Kindles in the run up to Christmas, pushing gross margins up slightly, while post-Christmas it had seen a mini-boom as a result of the 2011 VAT rise.

Browett sounded a cautious note when looking ahead to the coming year, saying "we are not being Pollyannaish", while anticipating some benefit to group sales from various events, such as the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 championships, and the Olympics, scheduled for the summer.

Rival Comet, currently up for sale, is expected to report its results tomorrow.

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