September 6, 2018 / 7:12 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Dixons Carphone on track to hit targets in slow recovery

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By James Davey

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Dixons Carphone, the troubled British electricals and mobile phone retailer, said on Wednesday it was on track to make its full year profit targets as sales of televisions during the soccer World Cup helped it meet quarterly forecasts.

The group, which issued a huge profit warning in May, said like-for-like sales were flat in the 13 weeks to July 28, its fiscal first quarter.

Sales on the same basis were flat in the UK & Ireland, where it trades as Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse.

In its home market demand for televisions was offset by weaker sales of white goods, like fridges and cookers, and of mobile phones.

In the Nordics, where the group trades under the brands Elkjøp, Elgiganten and Gigantti, underlying sales were also flat. However, in Greece, where it trades as Kotsovolos, they were up 9 percent, strongly outperforming the market.

The group maintained its forecast for a full 2018-19 year pretax profit of around 300 million pounds ($387 million), down from 382 million pounds made in 2017-18.

“We’ve made good progress in setting a clear long-term direction for the business, one that sharpens our focus on the core, and that better joins up both our offer to customers and our business behind the scenes,” said Chief Executive Alex Baldock, who joined the company in April.

Baldock, who said in June it would take years to turn around the group’s fortunes, said he would update on his plans in December.

Adding to its problems, Dixons Carphone revealed in June it had become the victim of a major cyber attack for the second time in three years.

Shares in the group, down 18 percent so far this year, closed Wednesday at 164.2 pence, valuing the business at 1.9 billion pounds ($2.45 billion). They opened slightly weaker on Thursday following the results. ($1 = 0.7745 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey and Kate Holton Editing by Alexander Smith)

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