DSG ditches The Link


DSG International, the electronics retailer formerly known as Dixons, has announced it is to sell high street chain The Link to O2 for about £30 million.

Its announcement comes as part of its annual results, which show a four per cent drop in pre-tax profit despite second-half sales being boosted by sales of flat-screen TVs prior to the World Cup.

DSG International, which in addition to its Dixons chain runs Currys and PC World, registered pre-tax profit of £318.2 million, down from last year's £332.8 million. Despite these setbacks its overseas operations delivered a 19 per cent revenue growth, while overall revenues increased by six per cent.

The company's decision to sell The Link appears to have been caused by a desire to move away from the high street rather than the overall mobile phone market, as John Claire, DSG International's chief executive, explained.

"The competitive landscape for mobile phones, initially a retail market, has changed significantly and has become a market in which the profit opportunities can best be leveraged by the networks and telecom services providers," he said.

"The sale of The Link will enable us to focus on our core multi-channel electrical and computing formats as we pursue our leadership ambitions across Europe."

Today's announcement of The Link's sale will allow O2, which already owns 40 per cent of the chain, to gain complete control over its future.

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