LFL sales in the UK also increased by 1.1% for the 23 weeks to 5 January, and remained broadly flat over the Christmas period at -0.3%. However, group sales were down 0.5% over the seven weeks and down 0.6% over the first 23 trading weeks of the financial year.
Despite this, the directors of the company said they expect the full year financial performance of the group to be in “line with their expectations”.
Martyn Gibbs, digital chief executive officer, said that “despite a challenging retail climate”, the group traded “solidly over the Christmas period”, with encouraging like-for-like sales in both in the UK and internationally.
He added: “The group successfully delivered growth from exclusives, higher margin categories and our specialist customer offer over the Black Friday event, which all contributed to a pleasing margin outcome and helped to offset the continued, managed decline of preowned.
“Our multichannel focus has delivered both trading margin growth and cost savings, while paid for services, such as multiple delivery options, have been well received by customers. Our supplier partners provided a strong line-up of exclusive content for key software releases over the 23 weeks and customer response and sales have been positive.”