Britain's Currys trims profit outlook after tough Christmas

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By James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) -British electricals retailer Currys faces uncertain demand and more supply chain disruption in 2022, it warned as it trimmed full-year profit guidance by 3% after Christmas sales were dented by a "challenging" technology market.

Shares in the group, previously known as Dixons Carphone, were down 4.9% at 0955 GMT on Friday after it also warned customers to expect price rises this year.

"One of the things that we do expect across the market in 2022 are some price rises; we think that's inevitable," CEO Alex Baldock told reporters.

He added, however, that Currys would stand by its pledge to be the cheapest in the market.

Currys, which trades from more than 800 stores in seven countries and online, said like-for-like revenue fell 5% year on year in the 10 weeks to Jan. 8 but was up 4% against the same period of 2019-20 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit trading.

UK & Ireland revenue fell 6% year on year while international revenue (the Nordics and Greece) slipped by 3%.

The group said the overall UK technology market was down 10% compared with last year's peak period.

"Currys came through this market turbulence well. We gained share in the UK, extending our market leadership. At the same time, we focused on profitable sales, with good discipline on margin, cost and stock," Baldock said.

The group had exited the peak period with stock in a good position, but it continues to face demand uncertainty and supply chain disruption that means availability remains difficult in some areas, the company said.

"There's some uncertainty ahead - on what's happening to the cost of living, discretionary income (and) where that goes, the housing market and consumer confidence more broadly," Baldock added.

Currys said it expects to deliver a full-year 2021-22 adjusted pretax profit of about 155 million pounds ($213 million), compared with last month's guidance of about 160 million pounds and 156 million pounds made in 2020-21.

($1 = 0.7285 pounds)

(Reporting by James DaveyEditing by David Evans and David Goodman)

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