Dixons records five-fold increase in profits on back of service push

Dixons Retail, the owner of the Currys and PC World brands, has posted a five-fold increase in underlying profits in the UK and Ireland, with profits hitting £31.4m for the six months to 31 October.

Currys and PC World: we can help by M&C Saatchi
Currys and PC World: we can help by M&C Saatchi

The company’s Knowhow business unit saw added value services grow by 13% to £19.6m as the company seeks to gain a march on online competitors by focusing on services.

Dixons credits its "relentless drive for better value, choice and service for customers" as the reason for a gain in market share, which has now reached approximately 23% as like-for-like sales in the UK increased by nine % for the half year.

However, the company does admit it is still benefitting from the collapse of rival Comet at the end of 2012.

Sebastian James, chief executive at Dixons, said: "I am pleased to report that we have had a successful first half, with customer satisfaction and profitability up considerably year on year. In fact, as a group, we are reporting an underlying profit for the first time in six years.

"We remain cautious about the outlook for consumers in our markets – very strong trading this time last year, together with the fact that we have now annualised Comet's exit makes the second half more challenging."

Dixons will continue its push to increase its in-store customer experience in the year with a rollout of a number of retail innovations it has been trialling.

The trials include mobile and flexible fittings that let the retailer adapt quickly to new technology trends, ‘Showhow’ product demonstration areas and heat map cameras that allow Dixons to analyse how customers interact with displays.

Dixons says its Showhow service, which offers customers individual tutorials on their new products, has been "very well received" with 76,000 Showhows carried out since their launch in September 2012.

In addition, Dixons reveals its Knowhow division has carried out approximately 750,000 laptop, TV and tablet repairs over the past 12 months.

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