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Comet moves towards small domestic appliances as profits drop

Published: 8 December 2010
Electricals chain Comet has suffered a retail loss of €6.4m for the first half, due to a combination of store refits, a brand relaunch and tough trading conditions.
Comet moves towards small domestic appliances as profits drop
According to parent company Kesa Electricals, sales at Comet also declined on a like-for-like basis by 3.7%, with a total revenue of €864m for the six months to October 31, 2010.

The company held on to its overall market share, with strong growth in multimedia, and is now taking "significant actions" to improve future performance, it says.

The 249-store chain is pushing into the small domestic appliances categories, with 59 stores now boasting updated kitchen and health and beauty displays, and a further nine completed last month.

The Comet brand was relaunched in September, with new instore POS, new staff uniforms and support from press and TV campaigns. Meanwhile, the website has also received a facelift, moving to a new platform to allow greater ease of use and to show extended ranges. Web sales have increased by 8% and now account for 14.6% of total product sales.

At group level, Kesa Electricals, which also trades under the Darty brand in France, reported a 4.1% increase in revenue to €2,778m, a rise of 0.1% on a like-for-like business. The company also saw a 52.4% increase in adjusted PBT from €16.4m to €25m, and has declared an interim dividend of 2.25 cents.

Kesa chief executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said: "We have prepared all our businesses for what we expect to be a competitive peak trading period and will continue to implement self-help measures in order to face an increasingly uncertain market environment."

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