Shares in this FTSE 250 retailer fell 53% in 2022 and are down 14% in 2023. Buy, sell, or hold?
Full-year results to 29 April
- Revenue down 6% to £9.51 billion
- Adjusted profit down 38% to £119 million
- No final dividend payment
- Net debt of £97 million compared to a previous net cash position of £44 million
- Trading at the start of the year has been consistent with management’s expectations
Chief Executive Alex Baldock commented:
"We've had a very mixed year. Our strengthening UK&I performance shows our strategy is working well. But our long track record of success in the Nordics was brought to an abrupt halt.
“Our market has been tough everywhere, with depressed demand, high inflation and unforgiving competition. Our UK&I colleagues' great work shone through in world class engagement scores; in another year of record customer satisfaction; in maintaining number one market share; and in more customers for life as we grew services. All this was reflected in another year of growing UK&I profits, with improving gross margins and continued cost discipline.
“Looking ahead, we're wary of optimism about consumer spending power. Accordingly, we're being prudent in our planning, and in further strengthening our balance sheet. Our focus is on continuing a very encouraging trajectory in the UK&I while we get the Nordics back on track, and being attentive to mitigating any downside risk. We may be cautious in our promises for the short-term, but our confidence is undimmed as we build a stronger and more resilient business that is fit to prosper in the longer term."
Currys (LSE:CURY) trades across more than 820 stores and several websites in eight countries including the UK.
It trades under the Currys and Mobile iD brand in the UK and Ireland, Elkjøp in the Nordics and Kotsovolos in Greece and Cyprus.
For a round-up of these latest results announced on 6 July, please click here.
Formerly Dixons Carphone, Currys today employs over 30,000 people. Its operations include product repair facilities in Newark in the UK, a product sourcing office in Hong Kong and a wide distribution network for both home and store deliveries. The UK & Ireland generate its biggest slug of sales at around 53%, followed by the Nordics and including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland at 40% and Greece and Cyprus 7%.
For investors, competition at its Nordics business is generating headwinds. Rising interest rates across all its geographical regions is tough for its customers, group net cash has turned to net debt, while the final dividend payment has been axed as management looks to strengthen its balance sheet.
On the upside, a push to improve profitability at its UK and Irish business has made progress. Costs remain a focus, product sales advice is available in contrast to retail rivals such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), while scrapping the final dividend payment and reducing its pension contributions is arguably sensible at a time of economic challenge and rising borrowing costs.
A consensus analyst estimate of fair value at over 70p per share at least implies optimism that the business can recover over the longer term. However, with a possible recession looming and consumers looking to tighten their belts, more cautious investors will likely demand evidence of a profit recovery before committing extra cash to Currys.
- Focus on costs
- Diverse product/services and geographical footprint
- No final dividend payment
- Tough economic backdrop
The average rating of stock market analysts:
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