Like-for-like sales at Comet decimated

Retailer sees revenues down ten per cent on 2007's while sales fell 6.6 per cent
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Comet has been battered by falling demand for white goods, with the UK chain making a first-half loss.

The details emerged as parent company Kesa announced its six-month trading statement to the City this morning.

Sales at Comet fell by 6.6 per cent, while like-for-like sales plunged by 9.9 per cent, with the retailer blaming the decline on falling demand for white goods. The group's flagship chain Darty also saw sales fall, albeit by 0.2 per cent. Like-for-like sales were down by 3.2 per cent at the French consumer electronics chain.

Speaking about the results, chief executive Jean-Noël Labroue warned that the 'very tough' trading conditions of the first quarter had failed to improve, and that they weren't likely to in the near future.

"As we did not expect to see any improvement in the short term, we put in place a robust action plan to protect margins, adjust costs and generate cash, while maintaining key strategic investments in our established businesses and start-up operations to secure our long-term growth," Labroue said.

Despite the battering its two key chains received, total group sales were up by 3.3 per cent, although like-for-like sales were down across the group by 4.7 per cent.

Labroue did not mention the performance of its consumer electronics directly in his statement to the markets.

Analysts have warned that the poor results are likely to see forecasts for the retailer slashed, with Landsbanki analyst Paul Deacon telling Retail Week: "Our forecasts now look far too high and we are likely to make significant downgrades."

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