Comet owner Kesa Electricals has dashed hopes of a quick recovery in the electricals retail market as it reported heavy full-year losses and slashed its dividend.
Europe’s third largest electricals retailer behind Media Markt and Dixons Store Group posted pre-tax losses of £81.8m for the 12 months to 30 April, compared with a profit of £128.8m a year earlier.
Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, who replaced Jean-Noel Labroue as chief executive in January, said that trading conditions across all Kesa’s markets had been “difficult”.
“In anticipation of another difficult year we will continue with our cost management actions, reduction in the losses in our new businesses and focus on cash generation which will be aided by lower capital expenditure,” he said.
Group revenues in constant currency rose by 9.8 per cent to £4.95bn but like-for-like sales fell 6.2 per cent.
UK arm Comet was highlighted as a weak performer as its revenue fell 4.7 per cent to £1.66bn and retail profit plunged by three-quarters to £10.1m.
The firm said it is continuing to change Comet’s store mix having converted nine more outlets to the new mezzanine format during the year. Comet now has 250 stores, down from 251 a year earlier. Comet’s like-for-like sales fell 7.7 per cent.
Falque-Pierrotin, added: “Actions have been taken on costs across the group, and particularly in the UK, to mitigate the impact of the market conditions.”
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