By Maximilian Clarke

A 1% increase in group sales has failed to stem widening losses at Dixons Retail plc (LSE: DXNS).

Underlying sales reached £3.29bn, though a 0.6% drop in group margins boosted pre tax losses to £25.3m, compared to a £6.9m loss the same time last year.

“Our focus on building a service-led business model is differentiating our offer for customers and suppliers,” commented the group’s Chief Executive, John Browett. “In what remains a challenging environment, the pace and impact of improvements in our operating model is driving outperformance versus our competitors and market share gains.

“While we remain cautious about the economic outlook for the second half of the year, we are well positioned and remain focused on delivering world-class Value, Choice and Service for customers. We will continue to build our KNOWHOW service to further differentiate our offering. We are confident that customers will benefit from fantastic festive deals across an exciting range of technologies from our knowledgeable store colleagues this Christmas.”

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