Comet reports 14% jump in profits

Employee at Comet
Image caption The white goods market faces a tough year, Kesa says

Electrical and household appliance retailer Comet has reported a rise in annual profits of almost 14%.

The chain made £11.5m in the year to the end of April, compared with £10.1m a year earlier, its parent company Kesa Electricals said, despite like-for-like sales slipping 1.5%

Kesa credited its focus on customer service for the improved profits.

But it warned that its major markets across Europe remained "challenging".

Across the Kesa group, profits were £69.6m, from losses of £81.8m. Sales were up 0.4% but down 1.5% on a like-for-like basis which strips out new stores.

Its French business, Darty France, recorded a 7.4% sales increase.

Cost cutting and gains in market share had helped Kesa to "workmen like results", said Keith Bowman of Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers.

"On the downside, management outlook comments express caution, whilst intensifying competition, particularly in the UK, is casting an ever growing shadow," he added.

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