Dixons Carphone to close 134 stores

Dixons Carphone has announced it will close 134 stores as it merges its remaining PC World and Currys stores in the UK.

The group plans to roll out its 3-in-1 store format across the whole business, which will see the inclusion of a Carphone Warehouse in every store. The company said that it did not expect this to lead to any job losses.

Dixons Carphone will invest £50 million to refit the stores and well as leaving £70m in provision for the financial year 2015/16 for property exit costs, asset write-downs and operational costs.

The company saw a five per cent increase on group like-for-like revenues in the UK and Ireland in the 10 weeks to January 9. It also reported a record Black Friday and market share gains in all markets. It anticipated its full-year profits before tax to be between £440 million and £450m, which is slightly ahead of expectations.

As part of the company’s Connected World Services (CWS), it saw success in the 15 store Sprint trial in the USA and, as a result, has initiated a full venture to manage a targeted 500 stores.

In its technology platform business, it has extended its agreement with a large US manufacturer to use Dixons Carphone software platform, Honeybee, with two US mobile networks. It has also entered into a new distribution agreement with TalkTalk to support the sales of mobile, TV and broadband.

Group chief executive Sebastian James said: “I am very happy to be reporting a further year of good like-for-like growth over our peak trading period. The two-humped camel shape that emerged last year was further accentuated with an all-time record day on Black Friday and a strong promotional period after Christmas. In all territories, we saw continued market share gain, especially in UK mobile.

“Integration continues to go well, all key activities are more or less complete, and it gives me real pleasure to see the emergence of a distinct – and sometimes quirky – Dixons Carphone culture that contains some of the best elements of our different histories. We are seeing the benefits that we expected from the merger, and these will roll through into the next full year. As part of this process, we are now also taking the opportunity to put our estate into its long-term shape by rolling out the 3-in-1 format across the UK and Ireland with a major property programme that will enhance long-term earnings and improve our customer experience. Our experience has taught us that the net effect on both sales and colleague levels is likely to be neutral or better.

“This has been a good year. We are continuing to invest in CWS and, in the Nordics, the twin effects of pricing investment and currency devaluation will have some impact this year.”