Comet-owner reports 71% crash in profits

Kesa, the electrical retailer group that owns Comet, has reported a 71% crash in profits for the six months to October 31. The news saw its shares plummet by 10%.

The results, released today (December 16) show that Comet made a pre-tax loss of profit £8.6m compared to £10.6m for the same period last year.

The retailer says that trading conditions are “extremely difficult” and it does not anticipate an improvement in this financial year, but it expects that “streamlining” across store and head office staff, its home delivery operation and regional distribution centre would “benefit” its second half results.

A Comet spokesman says the retailer was not affected by the slowdown in the housing market like DIY businesses in the UK. He adds: “The results reflect nothing more than a symptom of the general slowdown affecting all high street retail businesses.

Jean-Noel Labroue, Kesa Chief Executive, told the City this morning that its operations in France, Holland, Belgium and the Czech Republic are proving more “resilient.” Expansion plans in Italy and Turkey are continuing as planned despite the tough economic environment.

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