Kesa weighs up options as Comet slumps
Electricals retailer Kesa said it was examining strategic options for its loss-making Comet business as trade across the group worsened in its new financial year.
“We have a strong turnaround plan for Comet to restore its profitability in the medium term and in parallel we are examining strategic alternatives to ensure the best overall value for shareholders,” said Chairman David Newlands.
There has been speculation Kesa could close or sell Comet and re-list in France.
Newlands’ comments came as Kesa said trading since the end of April had been tough and weaker than internal expectations.
Kesa, also the subject of private equity bid speculation amid stakebuilding by activist investor Knight Vinke, made an underlying pre-tax profit of 93.2 million euros (£82m) in the year to 30 April.
That compares with analysts’ average forecast of 90 million euros, according to a company poll, and 91.1 million euros made in 2009/10.
Analyst forecasts were reduced after a January profit warning.
Shares in Kesa, which prior to Wednesday’s update had lost 16 percent of their value over the last six months, closed at 137 pence on Tuesday, valuing the business at 726 million pounds.