Dixons ‘long haul’ as profit dips 24% | City & Business | Finance

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It had warned investors to expect lower profits last month when it announced plans to shut 92 Carphone Warehouse stores amid rising costs and changing consumer habits.

Alex Baldock, who joined as chief executive from Shop Direct in April, warned of a long haul turnaround but insisted its longer-term prospects were bright. Baldock said: “I’m delighted to be in a business with so many strengths, and with so much more to go for.

“Recent events have underlined that we have plenty of work to do, and it will take time, but I’m even more confident than the day I took the job in our longterm prospects.

“We’re number one, maintaining or growing share in each of our markets, with people and scale multichannel capabilities no competitor can rival.”

He added: “We can make more of these strengths, to better join up our offer to customers and our business behind the scenes. There’s nothing here that can’t be done, and we expect top and bottom-line benefit of doing it.”

Baldock has blamed previous under investment at the firm, which has suffered from a deteriorating electricals market in the UK and as customers hold on to their handsets for longer.

Group pre-tax profit fell from £500million to £382million on 3 per cent higher revenue of £10.5billion. UK and Ireland revenue fell 1 per cent to £6.6billion, offset by strong performances in Nordic and Greece operations.

It is budgeting for a further weakening in domestic electricals and higher wage costs. It will also be spending £30million to improve customer service.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The group is having to fight off online competitors and counter declining high-street footfall.”

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