In Brief

Dixons Carphone admits it got sales figures wrong way round

Retailer’s sales fell by 2% rather than rising by 2% as it previously posted

Dixons Carphone has reissued its Christmas trading figures to say sales went down, not up.

It is red faces all round as the retailer, which had earlier posted a rise in sales, was forced to admit it had made a “clerical error”.

The company, which owns Currys PC World, released a fresh statement for the last 10 weeks of the year, saying sales had fallen by 2%, rather than risen by 2%, as it had earlier reported.

Shares, which were 5% higher earlier, later lost half that gain in the wake of the new report.

The BBC says that mistakes in official announcements are rare, even though trading statements are not double checked by accountants.

The company is “no stranger to negative headlines”, Sky News says, following a hacking incident that targeted 14m customers, for which it was recently fined.

However, the retailer’s chief executive, Alex Baldock, did his best to put a positive spin on its recent performance.

He said customers had “loaded up” with technology during the festive season, adding: “The supersizing TV trend kept on giving as we sold 75% more 65"+ TVs.

“Dyson health and beauty sales were up over more than 20%, Shark Vacuum sales almost doubled and we sold 8,000 smart speakers each day.

“We broke records on wearables like Fitbit and Apple Airpods, while gamers couldn’t get enough of the Nintendo Switch.”

City AM said analysts still found plenty to be positive about in the retailer’s revised trading update.

Richard Lim, chief executive of research firm Retail Economics, said that the electricals business helped it produce some “solid” numbers for investors.

“Wider structural changes in the mobile market continued to undermine growth as consumers opted for Sim-only deals while hanging on to their handset for longer,” he added.

Dixons Carphone has 1,500 stores and 16 websites in eight countries, employing 42,000 people.

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