Currys well-fixed to beat the slump
ELECTRICALS giant Currys has benefited from a make-doand-mend trend as it upped its profit forecast.
Boss Alex Baldock said some customers hit by the cost-ofliving crisis were looking at ways to fix rather than replace their home gadgets.
“Consumers are concerned to see their expensive technology last longer, which is where our big repair business has had another strong year,” he said, adding that shoppers were also turning to credit.
“The big picture on the UK consumer is that they remain hard-pressed by the cost-ofliving crisis.
“That’s playing through into relatively depressed demand for discretionary and big ticket products, and that’s placed downward pressure on the technology market.”
Despite that, Currys yesterday upped its forecast for profits in the year to the end of April to between £110million and £120million. The retailer cut the guidance to around £104million in March.
But even the revised higher profits – boosted by cost cutting – would still be down on the £186million that Currys made the prior year.
Furthermore, Currys revealed its full-year sales were seven per cent lower this year compared with last, driven by declines in the UK and Ireland and the Nordics and partially offset by strong sales in Greece.
Low demand in the Nordics left its competitors with excess stock and able to slash prices. Currys kept its prices the same, meaning it made virtually no money across the region.
Richard Hunter, head of markets at the platform Interactive Investor, said: “A brief but positive update has provided some respite for a beleaguered share price, with a profit upgrade propelling the shares higher.
“Even so, Currys may be winning the battle but it has a considerable way to go to win the war.”