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Comet sales fall by 15.2%

Kesa Electricals, Europe’s third largest electrical retailer, has reported that like-for-like sales at the company’s Comet stores declined by 15.2% for the period 9 January to 30 April 2011.

CITY & CORPORATE

Comet sales fall by 15.2%

Kesa Electricals, Europe’s third largest electrical retailer, has reported that like-for-like sales at the company’s Comet stores declined by 15.2% for the period 9 January to 30 April 2011.

However, revenue at Darty France, Kesa’s largest chain, rose 7.6% for the same four month period with full-year sales rising by 2.2%.

Kesa said that the fall in sales at Comet was a reflection of the difficult economic environment in the UK, particularly following the VAT increase.

In an effort to save costs, Kesa said it was planning to consolidate Comet’s 14 regional service centres to two sites, to reduce its warehouse network from three to two and had also reduced the number of staff at head office. This would result in an expected £10 million reduction in costs on an annualised basis and enhance customer service levels.

Commenting on the figures, chief executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said: “In the UK, market conditions remained particularly tough and we have accelerated our plans at Comet to reposition the business and reduce our cost base.”
 
He added: "Supported by improved market positions in most of our markets, further cost measures in all countries with specific restructuring at Comet, BCC and Darty Spain and the strength of our balance sheet, we are well prepared for the challenging markets we expect to face in the coming year."

The announcement follows the resignation of Comet’s Managing Director, Hugh Harvey, last week.

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