Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone warned today it would not meet its previous guidance for 2019-20 profit and debt due to the coronavirus emergency which has forced the closure of its stores in Ireland, the UK and Greece. 

The UK group's previous guidance was for adjusted pretax profit of £210m and lower net debt year-on-year. 

It said it will not update current year or medium-term guidance until the impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer. 

Dixons Carphone has, however, seen a jump in sales as people buy equipment to work from home. 

It said that in the 11 weeks to March 21 electricals like-for-like sales rose 8%, reflecting a strong recent uplift - up 23% in the last three weeks. 

"We have seen very good sales of equipment for home working (laptops, printers), for home entertainment (TVs, gaming) and for home living (fridges, freezers, kitchen appliances)," it said. 

The group said almost all its stores in the Nordics continue to trade and its online operations remain open. 

It said online trading has been very strong in all countries over the last two weeks as people have been buying technology to work from home during the crisis. 

"Early signs are that this strong trading has continued since stores closed and will help to compensate for lost store sales," it said. 

Overall group like-for-like sales were up 4% over the eleven weeks, held back by a 15% fall in mobile phone sales.

Shares in the group are down 43% so far this year. 

Earlier this month Dixons Retail said it would close 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores and shed 2,900 jobs. The Carphone Warehouse business is loss-making. 

Dixons said those job cuts will proceed as they are not related to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The company said it was taking measures to preserve cash during the crisis by taking advantage of government support, controlling discretionary spending, lowering capital expenditure, reducing stock ordering and deferring tax payments. 

It said it will decide whether to pay a final dividend in June.