Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone said today it had repaid government wage subsidy payments in both Ireland and the UK.
Dixons Carphone said it had made a repayment of €3.75m to the Government's wage subsidy scheme here.
It also said it had repaid £73m of UK government support used to pay temporarily laid off workers, after its online sales jumped which offset the impact of store closures during Covid-19 lockdowns.
Dixons Carphone said that sales were up 11% over the second half of year compared to 19/20 and very strong online growth has continued in Ireland with sales on Currys.ie up nearly 300% for the year.
Last week, the company confirmed its decision to close the Irish Carphone Warehouse business would result in 486 redundancies here.
Carphone Warehouse said its 69 standalone and 12 outlets within a store would all close.
It said that over the last year Carphone Warehouse Ireland had seen a decrease in footfall in excess of 40% and a 25% increase in customers buying sim-free handsets.
The company said today it continues to be in consultation with the affected colleagues and is committed to redeploying as many as possible into the Currys PC World business.
It plans to pay enhanced redundancy to those impacted by the store closures, it added.
Jim O'Hagan, Managing Director for Ireland, said that the performance of Currys PC World in Ireland is a testament to the hard work of all its staff who have pivoted, innovated fast and delivered for customers, however they they chosen to shop.
"Given our strong financial position, we have decided to reimburse the government wage subsidy. We thank the Irish Government for the support given," he added.
The UK group also today announced plans to close its Dixons Travel business which operates at airports, blaming Britain's removal of airside tax-free shopping.
It said it did not expect passenger numbers to recover sufficiently to compensate for the removal of tax-free shopping.
Dixons Travel had previously made an annual profit contribution of over £20m, the company said.
For the year to the end of April, Dixons Carphone said online sales had more than doubled to over £4.5 billion, with group electrical sales up 12% in the 25 weeks to 24 April.
The improved sales came despite most stores in the UK and Ireland being closed for much of the period due to lockdowns, and increased restrictions on trading in the Nordic region.
After repaying government support for the furlough paid to staff, Dixons Carphone said it expected full-year adjusted pretax profit to be broadly in line with the consensus forecast of £151m.
The group also stuck to its medium-term guidance. It is due to report its full-year results on June 30.