Surge in online sales key to Dixons overcoming COVID-19 pains

Kumutha Ramanathan
·Contributor
·2 min read
A Carphone Warehouse store on Boucher Road in Belfast, as nearly 3,000 jobs are being axed at Dixons Carphone after the retailer announced plans to shut all 531 of it???s standalone Carphone Warehouse mobile phone stores in the UK. (Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dixons Carphone, which owns Carphone Warehouse, saw a 114% increase in online sales growth. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty

Strong online sales for electricals helped Dixons Carphone (DC.L) thrive despite sluggish demand in shops caused by forced closures during COVID-19 lockdowns, the company reported on Wednesday in its latest earnings announcement.

The British electricals giant, which owns Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World in the UK and Ireland, said it made an adjusted pretax profit of £89m ($112m) in the six months to 31 October compared to £2m in the same period last year.

The stock was up 11.7% at around 8.50am in London.

Dixons reached a one-week high following its latest earnings announcement on Wednesday.
Dixons reached a one-week high following its latest earnings announcement on Wednesday. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

By adapting “quickly to overcome challenges of multiple lockdown,” the business said it had seen a 114% increase in online sales growth to £1.8bn. The UK and Ireland accounted for 145% of those gains, to £1.3bn.

Customers forced to stay home due to lockdowns has been a boon to the business as they spent more on their homes, including on appliances, home office equipment and televisions.

The trend also benefitted DIY companies, such as B&Q which saw its sales rise 17.6% in its latest reporting period.

READ MORE: Second lockdown slows UK inflation to a crawl as clothing stores slash prices

“We've achieved this performance by doing what we said we'd do,” said Alex Baldock, CEO of Dixons Carphone. “We're winning online, and have triple-digit growth and rapid market share gains to show for it. Still, most customers prefer to buy technology through a mix of online and in store, and we've innovated fast to bring the best of both digital and physical shopping to every customer.”

Despite strong growth, the company says its outlook “remains uncertain” but will be maintained, relying heavily on its online sales strategy as it’s been stress tested by the pandemic.

The business had been under pressure in its previous reporting period in July, when it reported pre-tax profit had more than halved to £166m for the year to 2 May 2020 as the UK’s coronavirus lockdown hit its mobile sales division, leading to revenues falling by 3% to £10.2bn.

WATCH: Should I pay off debt or save money during the coronavirus pandemic?