Warning: Currys chief exec Alex Baldock has hit out against government red tape
The boss of Currys has lambasted the Government for imposing extra costs and red tape on businesses that will push up prices.
As the country’s biggest seller of electrical goods posted a slide in Christmas sales, chief executive Alex Baldock warned: ‘The biggest inflationary pressures are coming from Government.’
He pointed to a ‘combination of the minimum wage, the [business] rate hike and some very misjudged proposals on recycling’.
‘All are adding to an overburdened sector which is the largest private sector employer and on which presumably we depend heavily in the UK to lead us out of economic difficulty,’ he added.
Currys said group sales in the ten weeks to January 6 were 3 per cent lower than a year earlier.
Sales in the UK and Ireland were also down 3 per cent as subdued demand for TVs and computers offset a strong performance in mobile phones.
Currys has been struggling over the past year to entice consumers to fork out for big ticket items.
But shares rose 8.6 per cent, or 3.92p, to 49.38p after it said it expects profit of £105million to £115million for the year to late April, compared to earlier forecasts of £104million.
Baldock urged the Government to reconsider its plan to stop retailers charging customers for recycling items such as white goods. It handles half of all UK electrical waste recycling.
Wage increases will also hurt, Baldock said. The National Living Wage for workers over 23 rises 9.8 per cent to £11.44 per hour from April.