Comet sales fall again as Kesa pushes on with turnaround plan

Kesa reaffirmed that it was it was pushing ahead with its Comet revamp plan as sales again tumbled.

The electrical goods retailer said it was keeping its options, which include a possible sale of the struggling chain, open.

"Comet turnaround plan underway while continuing to examine other strategic alternatives," the firm said.

In June, Kesa said it was looking at a range of options for Comet, including a disposal or formation of a joint venture, while at the same time pressing ahead with a turnaround plan which included selling weaker shops and focussing on profitable ranges like small appliances.

Kesa also posted a further deterioration in trading at Comet for the three months to July 31, its fiscal first-quarter.

Sales at Comet stores open over a year slumped 22.1 per cent, although gross margin increased 80 basis points.

The sales decline compared with analyst forecasts of a fall of 18-25 per cent and partly reflected a tough World Cup football comparative with the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales at the group's Darty business in France fell 3.7 per cent, better than analyst forecasts of a fall of 4.2-6 per cent. Gross margin was up 10 basis points.