Locked-down European consumers bought big-screen TVs, food preparation gadgets and health and beauty appliances, handing Dixons Carphone’s 11% more revenue from selling electrical items over the Christmas trading period than a year earlier.
The retailer, which owns the Currys PC World brand, said computing and gaming products were also big sellers during the festive period and online sales had grown by more than 120%.
Internet sales growth was highest in the group’s Greek business, where it soared 366%.
In the UK, Dixons Carphone has not been classed as an essential retailer, meaning that its stores have been closed during lockdowns. But Alex Baldock, its chief executive, hailed the company’s increase in online sales.
“We’re winning online, where we’re the biggest and fastest-growing specialist technology retailer in all our markets. And even where stores have been closed, our work to bring the best of digital and physical shopping to every customer has borne fruit in such innovations as our one-hour drive-thru order and collect and ShopLive,” Baldock said.
The retailer said its revenue from mobile phone sales dropped by 40% in the UK and Ireland during the period, although it said this was as expected, following its decision last April to close all 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores, with the loss of 2,900 jobs.
The company said it would launch a new mobile offer this year.
Dixons Carphone estimated in December the cost of Covid-related disruption, including store closures and extra spending on safety measures, to be £155m. However, the company said at the time the negative impact had been reduced to £10m by government support.
Unlike the nation’s biggest supermarkets, Dixons Carphone has said it has no plans to pay back the business rates relief it has received, which was worth £34m up to the end of October. This is despite the company having reported a profit before interest and tax of £95m in the six months to the end of October.