The parent company of UK retailer Comet, Kesa Electricals, has posted tumbling profits, halved its dividend and warned of a gloomy retail outlook for Europe next year.
Comet posted a retail loss of £8.1m for the six months to 31 October while sales plummeted by 7.9 per cent on an annual comparison.
Kesa revealed a loss before tax of £103.8m compared with a profit of £40.5m last year. Its first-half retail profits fell from £45.1m to £13m.
Jean-Noel Labroue, chief executive at Kesa, said: “I am satisfied that our strict focus on cash management, stock and capital expenditure, along with margin management and cost control, has allowed us to maintain a strong balance sheet.”
He added: “The economic climate across Europe has created very tough trading conditions for all our businesses, particularly in the UK and Spain.
“However, Darty in France and our established businesses in Holland, Belgium and the Czech Republic have demonstrated good resilience and our startup operations in Italy and Turkey continue to make further progress.”
Kesa halved its interim dividend to 1.75p and stressed the health of its balance sheet and strong net cash position, despite the group’s like-for-like revenues dropping by 5.5 per cent.
David Newlands, Kesa chairman, said: “Given the recessionary environment, the directors have reduced the interim dividend to 1.75p. The board intends to resume its progressive dividend policy when economic recovery resumes as it surely will in due course.”
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages
Neil Sawyer claims he has 'never seen so many conversations about a new method of investing in workplace technology'