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Lockdown-induced gadgetry rush sent Dixons Carphone's online sales skywards – and repaid £73m of furlough wages

But mobile biz continues to wane

The boss of Dixons Carphone has delivered a bullish assessment of the UK retailer's performance in a year when online tech sales spiked and revenues from its ebbing mobile business continued to slide.

Publishing results [PDF] for the year ended 1 May, Dixons reported that revenues across the group topped out at £10.344bn – up a smidgen (2 per cent) on the year before.

And when all the cash was added up, the retailer was able to report pre-tax profits of £33m – an improvement on the £140m loss from fiscal '20.

The retailer was also keen to point to the 103 per cent jump to £4.7bn in online sales which helped its profit and loss accounts return to the black as people sat at home and hit the web to get their electronics fix during lockdown.

Dixons said it saw growth in every major product category with tech singled out as the "standout performer" as people adjusted to home working, home schooling, and keeping themselves entertained as best they could.

Unfortunately, for every "standout performer", there are some parts of the business that failed to shine.

Sales at its UK and Ireland mobile operation dived 55 per cent as it continues to rejig its business, shutter its small standalone Carphone Warehouse UK stores, and close its airport-based outlets with the loss of some 400 jobs.

In good news for taxpayers, the company said it had repaid £73m of furlough wages for staff in the UK and Ireland, and settled its £144m VAT deferral.

In a statement, chief exec Alex Baldock said the last year had seen the retailer "grow [its] online business and add it to our in-store strengths."

"We're now financially stronger too, allowing us to pay back over £200m to governments and to recommence our dividend." ®

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