Improvements in stock control at Dixons Retail, which owns Currys and PC World, helped the group improve gross margins in its UK & Ireland business for the year to 30th April.
It said stock control improvements enabling the business to exit the year with lower inventory levels than last year despite the very weak markets. “This has included improved processes for exiting aged stock, limiting the need for excessive discounting.”
Total sales in the UK & Ireland were down five per cent to £3,816.1 million, and like for like sales were down three per cent across the year. Underlying operating profit for the full year was flat year on year at £71.3 million.
Other factors helping improve gross margins included introduction of better promotional planning, enabling better support from suppliers, and cost saving initiatives in the distribution and services infrastructure.
The Group also exchanged contracts for the sale and leaseback of its Nordic distribution centre at Jönköping in Sweden which will bring in some £59m.
Overall, the group said it has made £50m of cost savings in the last financial year and expects £50m additional cost savings expected in each of the next three years.
The group’s total underlying profit before tax was £85.3m. However, it has been restructuring its businesses across Europe and took a charge of £309m pushing it into a loss before tax of £224m.
Chief executive John Browett said: “Maintaining sales, margin and profits is a good performance in such challenging conditions. We are consistently outperforming our markets and gaining share because our Renewal and Transformation Plan continues to deliver a better and more compelling experience for customers.”