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Kesa plunges into red

Loss before tax was £81.8 millionc(2008 profit: £128.8 million)

CITY & CORPORATE

Kesa plunges into red

The losses were due to a write-down of 118.5m in the value of its Spanish business Menaje del Hogars. Kesa said it had taken steps to reduce costs, especially at Comet where retail pro
fits fell 76.5% to 10.1m. Group revenue was 4.95bn, up 9.8% on last year, but fell 1.2% in constant currency and by 6.2% on a like for like basis. In France, total revenue fell 2.1%, and 5% on a like for like basis. In the UK, Comet's total revenue fell by 4.7% and by 7.7% on a like for like basis.

Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, Chief Executive, commented: 'Trading conditions across all our markets were difficult throughout the year. However I am pleased that Darty France and our established businesses in Holland, Belgium and the Czech Republic all maintained their market positions and improved gross margins. In addition, our start up operations in Italy and Turkey continued to grow scale with a clear, differentiated offer and restructuring in Spain is well advanced. Actions have been taken on costs across the Group, and particularly in the UK, to mitigate the impact of the market conditions.

'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. 'In the medium term, we will continue to focus on improving the execution of our service led business model and better leverage our size and expertise.'

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