Dixons Carphone profits jump by 17%

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Media captionUK must stay in single market, says Dixons Carphone chief

Dixons Carphone chief executive has said the company expects to find "opportunities for additional growth" in the wake of Brexit as it announced a 17% jump in profits.

Underlying pre-tax profits in the year to 30 April rose to £447m from £381m a year earlier.

Group like-for-like revenues were up 5%, with turnover at £9.7bn.

The company was formed by a merger between Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail in 2014.

In the UK and Ireland the group trades as Carphone Warehouse, Currys and PC World.

Regarding the referendum result, chief executive Seb James said: "The nation has spoken and there has been a vote to exit the EU in due course. As you can imagine, we have been giving some thought to this.

'Screaming and shouting'

"Our view is that, as the strongest player in our market and despite the volatility that is the inevitable consequence of such change, we expect to find opportunities for additional growth and further consolidate our position as the leader in the UK market."

The company also has operations in Europe and trades as Elkjop and El Giganten in Nordic countries and Kotsovolos in Greece.

Mr James said they had posted record profits but it was vital the government struck a deal that ensured Britain continued to have preferential access to the European single market.

"We're going to see lots of screaming and shouting, but my message to my team is to absolutely make sure we do everything in our power to ensure our leaders get access to the single market and make sure we heal the rifts that this debate has caused in our society," he added.

Mr James said despite last Thursday's vote, business had continued as normal, with sales up and most customers carrying on with their lives as normal.

Structural threat

In morning trading, shares in the group fell more than 2%.

George Salmon, investment analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Dixons Carphone was benefiting from its position as "the last man standing" on the UK high street when it came to the large-scale supply of electrical items.

"However, the vote to leave the EU has knocked the share price, which is unsurprising given the group's exposure to the UK consumer and weaker European economies.

"Dixons Carphone also faces a structural threat from online retailers like Amazon and eBay, who have cost advantages like lower rent, fewer staff and less onerous business rate burdens.

"In order to keep earnings on the up and up, Dixons Carphone needs to keep customers coming through the doors. A key factor in their success will be the service and knowledge of their sales staff, as this is one area where the group holds a potential trump card in the battle against the online retailers," Mr Salmon added.

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