Dixons Carphone said its UK electricals business made a strong start to the year, helped by the soccer World Cup and an improving consumer backdrop. 

Dixons Retail is Europe's second biggest consumer electronics retailer, and Carphone Warehouse is Europe's largest independent mobile phone firm.

Last month the companies concluded an all-share merger to create Dixons Carphone, a consumer electricals powerhouse with a place in Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 index. 

Today's trading update covers a period that precedes the August 7 completion of the merger. 

The group said sales at Dixons Retail's UK/Ireland stores open over a year rose 4% in the three months to July 31 - just ahead of analysts' average forecast of up 3.8%. 

Dixon Retail's like-for-like sales were up 1% in the Nordics, versus a consensus forecast of up 0.8%, and up 6% in Greece, well ahead of a consensus of 2.5%. 

Like-for-like sales at Carphone's CPW business were down 6% in the four months to August 2, compared to a consensus forecast of a fall of 5.8%. 

That outcome came after seven quarters of like-for-like growth in a row and reflected very tough comparative numbers with the same time last year, when like-for-like sales were up 13%, as well as difficult market conditions in Spain. 

"I am pleased to report a good start to the year and to our new shared enterprise," said the merged group's chief executive Seb James. 

"The integration is going well with seven departments now serving both parts of the business in an integrated way and, although it is early days, our 11 stores-in-store are performing ahead of the business case that we set out in our merger announcement," he added.