Dixons Carphone had its biggest trading day in its history on Black Friday, the retailer revealed as it reported an increase in first-half sales and profit.
Humphrey Singer, finance director, said the company had increased the number of Black Friday promotional deals by 30 per cent.
It enjoyed five online orders per second, up 56 per cent year on year. The company did not disclose its overall sales for the day of promotions by UK retailers that seek to copy a US tradition.
Mr Singer said, however, that sales were now in a lull between Black Friday and what was expected to be the next trading high point for the retailer — on Boxing Day.
“Of course it is a Christmas now with two peaks, and in between the two peaks there is the valley. If last year is anything to go by, we had a record Boxing Day and we are looking forward to doing the same again,” he said.
Mr Singer said Dixons Carphone had anticipated this pattern of trade.
“[This is] very much a valley we expected to be in,” he said. “If you have a big peak you inevitably have people delaying beforehand and pausing afterwards. This gives us a bit of time to regroup and get stores in shape for the coming Boxing Day season. There is nothing to report that is unusual or unexpected.”
He also believed Black Friday was here to stay, despite some retailers, including Asda, attempting to rein in the event.
“Our prediction would be it is reasonably firmly entrenched in this market now. It’s a big day, a big week for us,” he said. “We like this start to the season we now have for the business.”
This year, many consumers abandoned high streets on Black Friday but Mr Singer said that “still the significant majority of sales are through the stores”.
The comments came as Dixons Carphone said sales slipped 3 per cent to £4.39bn in the six months to October 31 after adverse currency movements. Sales from stores open at least a year rose 5 per cent, with like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland up 7 per cent in the first half, and 4 per cent in the second quarter, helped by sales of white good and TVs which offset lower demand for tablets and PCs.
Pre-tax profit rose from £71m to £78m, after a £43m charge for integrating the two companies that merged in 2014.
The company also said two of its longstanding directors would step down from the board: Roger Taylor, deputy chairman and Sir Charles Dunstone’s right hand man, and John Gildersleeve, the former Tesco executive who has been a non-executive for 15 years.
It has appointed Lord Livingstone, former chief executive of BT Group, as deputy chairman and Tony DeNunzio as senior independent director.