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Currys slowly gets back on track after Nordic nightmare


Currys
 showed slow signs of progress towards getting its struggling Nordics business back on track today, but a fall in computer sales hit its core UK arm.

The fridges-to-phones retail giant said trends in the Nordics region had “improved slightly” in the 17 weeks to 26 August. However, the environment “remains challenging”.

The Nordics had been a major source of trouble for Currys, as discounting from rivals caused profits to plummet and the firm to pull its dividend. But after cutting jobs and marketing spend, the retailer said margins had improved.

In the UK, sales were down 2% as “weakness” in its computing division offset strong appliance and mobile sales and a good performance for services such as device protection.

Greece was the one region where sales improved, despite the impact of wildfires in the country, which Currys said led to lower footfall.

CEO Alex Baldock said: “Our priorities this year are simple: to keep the UK  and Ireland’s encouraging momentum going, and to get the Nordics back on track.

“We’re making good progress on both, in what continues to be a challenging economic environment.

“We remain confident that we’re building a stronger business that’s resilient today and fit to prosper in the longer term.”

Shares ticked up by 0.3p to 49.1p. They are still down 39% over the last six months.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “In the absence of what was an attractive dividend yield following the previous cut, there seems little to go for unless the trading situation improves dramatically.”

Source: Yahoo

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