More bumper Christmas sales figures from DSG & HRG but HMV disappoints

| January 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

DSG International, the electronics group that owns Dixons, Currys and PC World, has today joined other major retailers in reporting bumper Christmas sales.

The group, which is Europe’s No. 2 electricals retailer, enjoyed a record-breaking Christmas, with like-for-like sales in the 12 weeks to 9 January up 8% compared with the same period a year earlier.

Underlying group sales for the Christmas period were up 11% on last year.

Today’s figures far exceeded expectations with analysts forecasting a rise of just 3%

The company is 18 months into a turnaround programme in which it has embarked on a major cost-cutting exercise.

It said it is on target to deliver £50 million of cost savings in its financial year to April 2010.

Commenting on the figures, John Browett, chief executive, said: “Looking forward, we expect 2010 to be tough across Europe and notably in the UK given the economic environment. However, we expect to continue to benefit from the self help of our Renewal & Transformation plan and continue to build solid foundations for future growth.”

In the meantime, Home Retail Group (HRG) also published its figured today and also exceeded expectations.

In the 18 weeks to 2 January, like-for-like sales rose by 0.1% at Argos, while Homebase saw growth of 4% over the period.

HRG chief executive Terry Duddy said Argos had “performed ahead of our plans in its most important trading period”.

However, Mr Duddy warned that trading conditions would “remain challenging” in 2010.

Other retailers to report bumper sales over the festive period include Primark, Matalan, Tesco, Peacocks, Poundland, Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Next, John Lewis and House of Fraser.

However, music and games retailer HMV, has today posted a decline in group-wide sales over the festive period.

The group said it was hit by a poor performance by its book shop business Waterstone’s.

Like-for-like sales fell 1.2% in the five weeks to 2 January.

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