Kesa reviewing Comet after more losses

Kesa Electricals is reviewing the strategy for its loss-making Comet chain as it looks to reverse the decline in sales at the retailer.

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Comet posted a €10.3m (£39.1m) loss for the year to 30 April, while revenue fell 3% to €1.8bn (£1.6bn).

The Group, which includes the Darty brand in Europe, reported a 2.7% fall in retail profit to €107m (£95m) despite a 2.2% rise in revenue to €5.9bn (£5.2bn).

Kesa’s French business Darty reported a 12% rise in profit to €149.2m (£132.9m) and a 4.7% rise in revenue to €2.9bn (£2.6bn) for the year.

Kesa says the improved profitability at Darty “reflects the strength of the Darty concept” and says this framework will be a key part in its turnaround plans for Comet, while it explores “strategic alternatives” which could include selling off the chain.

Comet is the latest electricals retailer to report declining performance. Earlier this month Argos posted a 10% fall in sales and Carphone Warehouse, which owns the Best Buy chain, announced that it is “re-evaluating” its strategy after it posted a £62.6m loss for the year.

Rival Dixons is expected to report results on Thursday (23 June).

David Newlands, chairman of Kesa, says: “We have a strong turnaround plan for Comet to restore its profitability in the medium term and in parallel we are examining strategic alternatives to ensure the best overall value for shareholders.”

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