DSGi, the Dixon's group of companies, has reported what's being called a "sharp downturn" in sales across two of its chains.

Chief executive John Bowkett has been quoted as stating: "It's probably the most difficult trading environment we have seen almost within living memory, certainly since the last big downturn in the early 1990s".

In the 16 weeks to the August Bank Holiday weekend like-for-like sales at Currys fell by 7%, PC World sales fell by 12% although online sales at Dixons.com and Pixmania rose by 6%.

Shares in DSG have fallen to 51½p, but Bowkett is positive about his "renewal and transformation" plan for the retail group, stating: "We are working intensely to get the business fixed for when the market turns up again".