British retailer Kesa says interim profits surge

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British retailer Kesa Electricals said Wednesday that net profits soared in the first half of its financial year, as a strong performance in France offset tougher markets elsewhere.

Profits after taxation leapt to 19.6 million euros (25.9 million dollars) in the six months to the end of October, compared with 2.3 million euros in the same period of its previous fiscal year, Kesa said in a results statement.

Adjusted pre-tax profits meanwhile increased to 25 million euros from 16.4 billion last time around.

Kesa, whose businesses include electrical retail chains Comet in Britain and Darty in France, added that revenues rose 4.1 percent to 2.78 billion euros in the reporting period.

The retailer added that its French Darty operations continued to drive profit. That offset difficult trading conditions in Britain and its developing businesses in Spain, Italy and Turkey.

"During the first half, we continued to deliver an improved operating performance," said Chief Executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin.

"We increased profitability at Darty France, continued to successfully grow our web sales, accelerated the growth of Darty Italy and took a number of actions in the UK, Spain and the Netherlands to build longer term performance."

Earlier this year, Kesa decided to switch its reporting currency from the British pound to the European single currency.

This is because almost two-thirds of its total revenues are generated in euros.

© 2010 AFP

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