By Michael Susin

Currys, the retailer of technology products, has announced a lower-than-expected decrease in sales for the first half of fiscal 2024, despite ongoing pressures on consumer spending.

The company remains confident in its capital expenditure forecast of approximately £80 million ($101 million) for fiscal 2024, along with net exceptional cash costs of around £50 million.

Currys anticipates the completion of the disposal of its Greek business, Kotsovolos, in the first quarter of 2024. If this occurs before year-end, the company expects to finish the year in a net cash position.

During the first half of the fiscal year ending on October 28, Currys reported a pretax loss of £46 million, compared to a loss of £48 million during the same period the previous year.

Despite the decrease in revenue from £4.47 billion to £4.16 billion, Currys exceeded market expectations of £4.14 billion, according to Visible Alpha consensus forecasts based on six analysts' estimates. The company attributes this performance to persistent inflation and rising interest rates impacting consumer spending, as well as a strategic focus on more profitable sales.

In terms of regional performance, UK & Ireland saw a 3% decline in like-for-like revenue, while Nordics experienced a 6% drop.

"Our priorities this year are clear: to guide the Nordics toward recovery, maintain positive momentum in the UK & Ireland, and strengthen our balance sheet and liquidity. Despite ongoing economic challenges, we are progressing well in all these areas," commented Chief Executive Alex Baldock.

Currys reports that its performance since the end of the first half has been in line with expectations.

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