Electricals and mobile phones giant Dixons Carphone cheered its best ever Black Friday as it posted a 19 per cent jump in half-year profits, but said it was planning for “more uncertain times”.
The group said that, while it had yet to see a knock to shopper confidence from the Brexit vote, it was bracing for a more unsettled 2017 as EU exit negotiations loom large and amid cost pressures from the sharply weaker pound.
Dixons Carphone buys around 90 per cent of its products in sterling, although its manufacturers are expected to start increasing prices as the Brexit-hit pound sends their costs soaring.
It hopes to offset this and insisted customers were unlikely to see any noticeable hike in prices.
Seb James, chief executive of Dixons Carphone, said: “While we have still not seen any effect on consumer demand as a consequence of Brexit, we have been planning for the possibility of more uncertain times ahead.
“We are also planning our offer so that potential currency impacts are minimised for the customer, and are ensuring that next year, as always, everybody can be absolutely sure that they won’t get a better deal anywhere.”
Dixons Carphone posted a 19 per cent jump in underlying pre-tax profits to £144m for the six months to October 29 after notching up a 5 per cent rise in like-for-like sales across the UK and Ireland.
Black Friday, which fell after its first half, was another record trading day for the group as shoppers snapped up gadgets such as smart fitness and wearable technology, as well as drones and dash cams.
Mr James said: “Looking forward, we remain optimistic about our ability to continue to gain market share in all our key markets, and, while we have still not seen any effect on consumer demand as a consequence of Brexit, we have been planning for the possibility of more uncertain times ahead.”
Robust growth in consumer spending has been one of the main drivers of Britain’s economy since June’s vote to leave the European Union. But many retailers expect to have to raise prices next year, probably squeezing consumer demand.