UK chain trailing French counterpart
The performance of Comet brought down Kesa Electricals' overall sales figures for the three months to April 30.

Comet's turnover fell 1.6 per cent to£316.7 million over the period, while the group's retail divisions in Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and France all grew.

Turnover at Kesa's French electricals chain Darty rose 5.3 per cent to Eu495.2 million (£341 million).

Like-for-like sales at Comet fell 2.2 per cent, as it suffered from the general slowdown in retail. Poor sales of big-ticket white goods had a particular impact on margins. As a result, Comet is expected to make a loss in the first quarter of this financial year.

Kesa chief executive Jean-Noel Labroue said: 'Comet's performance in the first quarter reflects the difficult market conditions in the UK. The company has already reduced its cost base and will take further action if conditions persist.'