- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 27, 2008

LONDON (AP) - DSG International PLC, Britain’s largest consumer electronics retailer, posted a net loss for the first half of the year on Thursday, after the company cut prices to compete with internet retailers and spent more on restructuring the business.

The company, which owns chains PC World and Currys, reported a net loss of 40.3 million pounds ($62.4 million) during the 24 weeks through Oct. 18, and suspended its dividend payment. Over the same period a year earlier, the company made a net profit of 37.2 million pounds.

DSG said that the loss was partly the result of 27.8 million pounds of net restructuring charges, including the reorganization of its head office.

Its profit margin also took a hit, as the company slashed prices on televisions to align them with the prices consumers could find on the internet.

Revenue for the first half rose slightly _ by 2.7 percent _ to 3.47 billion pounds, boosted by beneficial exchange rates.

At constant exchange rates, however, sales were down 4 percent year-on-year.

DSG’s market value has fallen by nearly 90 percent this year on analyst concerns that falling consumer demand amid the economic downturn and the company’s outdated business model, which relies on store sales in the age of online shopping, would push the company into the red.

Shares fell 5.4 percent to 13 pence in London on Thursday.

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