Dixons , Europe's No.2 electrical goods retailer, posted a wider first-half loss as cash-strapped shoppers cut back on purchases of discretionary goods, but said it was taking market share from rivals faring even worse.

The group, home to the Currys and PC World chains in Britain, said on Thursday it made a loss before tax and one-off items of 25.3 million pounds in the 24 weeks to October 15.

That compared with a loss of 6.9 million pounds the same time last year, but was ahead of analysts' average forecast for a loss of about 30 million pounds.

Sales at stores open over a year fell 3 percent in the second quarter, improving on a 7 percent drop in the first, while net debt fell over 70 million pounds to 143 million.

(Reporting by Mark Potter)