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By | Joe Fay 25th June 2009 09:42

DSGi trims losses amidst plunging economy

Strong volume growth at computing biz in second half

DSGi management claimed to have steadied the ship as it unveiled full year figures that showed a reduced pre-tax loss on almost static sales this morning.

The electronics giant, which owns the PC World chain, has had a torrid year which has seen it offload unwanted businesses across Europe, undertake a massive overhaul of its stores and stage a rights issue to underpin its capital base.

Management today claimed it was "well prepared" for the continuing harsh economic environment, and would continue to focus on managing its financials as it continued its transformation program.

Overall sales were £8.36bn, down one per cent on the previous year. Pre-tax losses were £140.4m, compared to the £184.1m loss a year ago.

The company, unsurprisingly, played up "underlying sales and profits" which strip out the effects of businesses which are being discontinued as well as one-off costs including business impairment costs and restructuring charges.

These showed underlying sales of £8.2bn, down one per cent on the year, and an underlying pre-tax profit of £50.5m, compared to an underlying pre-tax profit last year of £225.6m.

The UK computing business, which includes PC World, showed sales of £1.57bn, down 14 per cent on the year, with underlying profit of £41m, compared to last year's £63.2m profit.

The firm said this year's computing business numbers suffered from a strong comparative period in the first half, as it cleared laptop overstocks, and the general decline in the consumer environment.

It pointed to its efforts in pushing mobile broadband offerings, under its "Get Connected" program which pushes free or subsidised laptops and netbooks, and claimed to have established "market leadership" in the netbook sector.

Overall, it said, computing products had shown strong volume growth in the second half.

DSGi has overhauled 41 of its PC World outlets, and said this generated a "gross profit uplift of approximately 11 per cent" versus the rest of the chain. ®

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