Kesa Electricals Interim Profits Up
Sep 30, 2004
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Kesa Electricals, owner of Comet electrical stores, is gaining share in all its markets, with first-half growth up 3.6 percent. Kesa is said to be Europe’s third-largest electrical goods retailer.

The company, which also owns the French electrical market leader Darty, reported retail profit of GPD 54.7 million (approx. U.S. $98.3 million), up 5 percent from mid-year 2003.

Total turnover at Comet increased by 7 percent on the previous year with like-for-like turnover rising 4.6 percent, Kesa said. Comet saw its strongest growth in multimedia, flat-screen televisions, accessories, and digital portable audio.

The UK chain is said to have grown its total market share in the face of increased competition, by repositioning its product ranges and services. The company attributes its positive interim results to improvements in Comet’s product mix, along with a continued focus on operation costs and margin control.

Modernizing Comet stores, along with relocations and openings of new stores, will bring the year-end total to 250 stores.

In France, Darty grew its market share across all major categories, with solid growth in white goods. Kesa has also signed its first leases to open Darty branded stores in Italy, reported to be Europe’s fourth largest electricals market, with the first store slated to open in Milan during summer 2005.

All of Kesa’s electricals markets except Holland, experienced “modest growth in a climate of continued price deflation, particularly in digital products,” the company said.

Despite a slow-down in the UK electricals market, Kesa is predicting a comeback performance in the second half during the Christmas season.

“Whilst it is difficult to predict consumer spending through the important Christmas period, we are confident that, with our margin management, cost control, and efficiency programs, the group will deliver a satisfactory performance in the second half,” Jean-Noel Labroue said, chief executive of Kesa Electricals.

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