UK laptop and digital camera demand stays strong

UK retailer Dixons says British shoppers are continuing to splash their cash on high-tech kit
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

The UK market for high-tech devices is still strong, according to the latest trading news from Dixons.

The high street retailer said on Wednesday that it has seen strong sales of laptops, digital cameras and camcorders this summer -- news that cheered city investors who took it as evidence that people are still keen to buy IT and electronics devices.

Global sales for the 18 weeks to 6 September at the Dixons Group were up 19 percent on the same period last year. Like for like sales -- a measure which only compares stores that contributed to both sets of figures -- were flat for the UK.

Chairman Sir John Collins said on Wednesday that the performance was in line with expectations, given how well Dixons had performed in the same period last year. This was partly due to strong sales of TVs during the football World Cup.

"While it is too early to extrapolate these trends for the balance of the year, the Group is well placed for a year of progress," Collins added.

With 900 stores worldwide, Dixons is a useful barometer of consumer spending.

Back in January, the company alarmed investors when it reported that sales of computer games and consoles over the Christmas period were weaker than expected.

Dixons recently announced it would sever its long-standing relationship with Freeserve, the leading UK ISP, in which it promotes Freeserve's dial-up Internet access. Dixons helped to found Freeserve, which quickly grew to prominence based on its pioneering pay-as-you-go business model.

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