Dixons plummets on gloomy forecast

Shares in dominant UK CE retailer Dixons Retail plunged as much as 20 per cent after it said annual profits would be at the bottom of market expectations. The company, which owns Currys and PC World, said profits for the year to the end of April would be about £85 million, compared with forecasts of £85 million-£109 million.

It added that like-for-like sales were down 7 per cent in the past 11 weeks.

The group said it would focus on cutting costs further and look at exiting the Spanish market.

“Consumer confidence across some of our markets is fragile and we expect it to continue to be so through much of 2011,” said chief executive John Browett.

The group set out a four-step plan to respond to its current difficulties: A review of its Spanish operations, targeting expenditure on its highest return projects, focusing on cash generation and cutting costs.

Despite the fall in sales, Dixons also said it believed its market share was improving.

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