Comet sales grow as Kesa group profits dip

CometComet parent company Kesa Electricals says strong demand for flat screen televisions and laptops have helped drive sales growth but warns trading conditions for the second half of the year remain uncertain.

Revenue at Comet was up 3.3% for the six months to July 31 while like-for-like sales at the high street retailer grow 0.9%. However, revenue at its retail business was down by a £1m on the same period last year.

In the six months to July 31 Kesa’s retail profit, which strips out gains from joint ventures and associates, fell from £48 million to £38.2 million. Total pre-tax profit declined from £39.3 million to £32.4 million, with the group pointing to extra investment in its French business Darty.

Earlier this year Comet, the UK’s second largest electrical retailer, expanded its services and launched Comet on Call. The service provides PC and laptop support for home and business customers and in-store and call centre staff have now completed 62,000 e-learning courses to improve product knowledge.

The retailer is also increasing investment in a new store format after seeing success with a concept that includes a trading mezzanine floor. Comet converted seven stores in the first half and refurbished its Solihull store with a “living-room” layout for its visual and audio ranges.

It says it is seeking a successor to chief executive Jean-Noel Labroue, who is retiring at the end of the year.

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