Dixons Carphone expects high demand for electrical goods to outlast the pandemic as tech becomes increasingly more important to people, the retailer said as annual sales reached £10.3 billion.
The company saw electricals online sales surge 103% to £4.7 billion during the year to May 1 when there was a digital shopping boom.
That helped total revenues in the year increase 2% to £10.3 billion, with the bumper digital growth helping to offset lost trading when shops had to close for Covid-19 lockdowns.
The company, which trades as Currys PC World in the UK and Ireland, saw high demand for laptops and games consoles, as customers sought to work and keep in contact with people from home during the pandemic.
But chief executive Alex Baldock anticipates continued good demand even as lockdown restrictions ease, offices reopen, and customers have more choice of where to shop.
He said: “We believe that Covid-19 has structurally increased the size of the technology market. Hybrid working will become normal, and in-home entertainment will stay bigger.”
He added: “More time at home means more usage, and more customers' eyes have been opened to what new technology can do, both of which point to faster replacement.”
Dixons Carphone said the start to the latest financial year has seen continued strong trading. It will resume dividend payments, with a full-year dividend of 3p proposed.
During the year to May the chain, which has 829 stores in the UK, Ireland, Greece and the Nordics, recorded a pre-tax profit of £33 million compared with a loss of £140 million a year earlier.
It repaid £73 million of furlough money to governments that was used for UK and Ireland staff.
A note from analysts at Liberum said: “Overall, we think this is a very positive statement today.”
Dixons Carphone made a number of changes to the business last year, including closing its standalone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK, which came as people upgraded their mobile phones less regularly.
It also said in April this year it planned to close its airport stores business, comprising 35 branches.