Electronics retailer Kesa reports drop in French sales

19th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

Kesa Electricals said Thursday that sales at its Darty stores in France fell by more than expected in late 2011 and early January, as the group prepares to complete the sale of its British arm Comet.

Kesa said sales fell 4.7 percent at Darty France between November 1 and January 8. Analysts' consensus forecast had been for a drop of 3.0 percent.

Kesa's share price slumped 9.28 percent to 70.66 pence in early deals on London's second tier FTSE 250 index following the data and on news that the company will face higher costs linked to the disposal of Comet, traders said.

The electrical retailer's chief executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said in the group's trading update that he expected "market conditions... to remain challenging."

Kesa last year agreed to sell Comet for a nominal fee of £2.0 (2.4 euros, $3.0) to private investment firm OpCapita.

However it also agreed to inject £50 million into the business and retain responsibility for Comet's pension deficit of £46 million, before offloading the chain that runs 248 across Britain and employs 10,000 staff.

Kesa said Thursday that it plans to complete its sale of Comet on February 3.

© 2012 AFP

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