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Dixons Retail annual loss narrows

Strong performance from the company’s UK and Ireland division, despite tough market conditions.

The British retailer Dixons Retail has narrowed its losses from £245.3m last year to £162.9m, or 4.3p per diluted share, for the 52 weeks ended 28 April. Its operating loss also fell year on year from £178.2m to £68.9m, while net finance costs rose to £49.9m (2011: £45.9m). During the year, the company reduced net debt to £104m (2011: £206.8m).

Dixons Retail's revenue from continuing operations was £8.19bn (2011: £8.34bn).

Underlying group sales were flat at £8.19bn (2011: £8.15bn), a decline of 3 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Total sales in the UK and Ireland division were down by 2 per cent to £3.83bn (2011: £3.93bn). At constant exchange rates, sales in northern Europe grew by 8 per cent, while southern European sales declined by 3 per cent.

Dixons Retail, which currently has 269 refurbished stores, expects to spruce up a further 63 stores over the next year, predominantly in the two-in-one Currys/PC World format.

Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons Retail, said:

I am pleased that by focusing our efforts on delighting customers, we have outperformed our competitors and ended the year with positive momentum delivering results at the top end of expectations.  Against a tough economic backdrop, we have continued to deliver on a clear plan to transform the business and today we are setting out our three strategic priorities to further improve our market position and build a business that is stronger, more profitable and sustainable.

Our service-led business model, now underpinned by the launch of Knowhow, is increasingly valued and trusted by our customers and our suppliers. The new financial year has got off to a good start with the trends seen in the final quarter of last year broadly continuing.  However, we continue to plan cautiously and manage costs aggressively.  Our business is well-positioned for the year ahead.

The company operates as well as Dixons Travel, Currys,, PC World, Equanet and Electro World stores. It also runs brands in Europe, including Pixmania and Advent Computers.