PHONE FLOGGER Dixons Carphone has announced plans to shutter almost 100 Carphone Warehouse stores as it continues to suffer from a decline in contract sales.
Newly-installed boss Alex Baldock, who replaced Dixons Carphone's longstanding chief executive Seb James just eight weeks ago, said on Tuesday that 92 Carphone Warehouse stores will close this year in an attempt to bolster margins in its mobile phone division.
Baldock said that the group faced increased pressure as consumers were holding on to older mobile devices for longer and opting for SIM-only deals over contracts, denting Carphone Warehouse's performance.
The retailer posted an increase in sales in the year to 16 April, but said that pre-tax profit in its full-year results in June is expected to come in at around £382m, down from £501m in 2017.
Shares in the group, which have already lost 30 per cent of their value in the 12 months, tumbled by 20 per cent following Tuesday's announcement.
However, despite the firm's planned cost-saving measures, Dixons Carphone insisted no jobs would be lost as staff will be offered the chance to move to larger outlets nearby.
Baldock said: "Eight weeks in the business have cemented my optimism about Dixons Carphone's long-term prospects. I've found exceptional strengths, and though there's plenty to fix, it's all fixable.
"Right now, with our international business in good shape, we're focusing early action on the UK. In electricals, we're focused on gross margin recovery. In mobile, we're stabilising our performance through improvements to our proposition and network agreements. In both, we'll work hard to improve our cost efficiency.
"We won't tolerate our current performance in mobile, or as a group. We know we can do a lot better.
"There's so much more to come from Dixons Carphone, though plenty of hard work lies ahead." µ
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