No relief for Kesa Electricals as sales continue to decline

City A.M. Reporter
Kesa Electricals, Europe&rsquo;s third-biggest electrical goods retailer, yesterday reported sales declining faster in the first four months of 2009 than at the end of last year but said annual profit met expectations.<br /><br />Kesa, which owns Comet, said it held a strong cash position but forecast 2009-10 would be another &ldquo;challenging year.&rdquo;<br /><br />The group also said its troubled Spanish business Menaje Del Hogar would post higher than anticipated full year retail losses of &euro;26m (&pound;23.3m) and would be restructured, with the closure of stores, a warehouse and distribution centre, the streamlining of head office functions and staff cuts. These actions, which will necessitate a &euro;10m exceptional charge, will generate annual cost savings of about &pound;11m, said Kesa.<br /><br />The firm said Comet was also taking a &pound;9m exceptional charge following the consolidation of distribution and service centres and a cut in head office staff. It said annualised cost savings would be about &pound;14m.<br /><br />Kesa said group-wide sales at stores open at least a year fell 7.5 per cent in the 16 weeks to 30 April. That followed a 5.5 per cent fall in the 10 weeks to 8 January.