Currys and PC World parent Dixons Retail has predicted Christmas trading would be competitive and tough as it reported slowing UK sales growth.
Dixons said like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland rose by 2% in the first half of its financial year, down from the 6% improvement reported in the first quarter following a World Cup-related boost to television sales.
But the group said it outperformed a tough market and slashed underlying losses in the half year, down from £16 million to £10.7 million in the UK and Ireland.
Dixons chief executive John Browett put faith in the group’s store overhaul project to help it through “an extremely competitive” festive season.
It has now refitted 250 stores, with 25 launched under the megastore format across the UK.
Dixons said 60% of revenues in its core UK and Ireland division would be made in revamped stores by the time of the Christmas trading period.
These new format stores – which include 57 combined PC World and Currys outlets – are adding around four percentage points to like-for-like performance, according to the group.
Mr Browett said: “We’re not expecting an easy Christmas and it will be extremely competitive as well.” However, he said the group had “managed it all before” and that the improved store format was helping it grow sales.
Dixons is hoping to see strong demand for iPads and other tablet computers in the run-up to Christmas, while 3D televisions are also expected to feature strongly.
The group added its recently launched Star Wars-themed advertising campaign for the new megastores had “caught the imagination of our customers” and would help give it a head start in the battle for Christmas trade.