Electricals retailer Kesa revealed a like-for-like decline of 0.3% in the 10 weeks to January 8.
Group sales in the period grew 1.3%, or 0.7% in local currency. Gross margin was flat.
At its UK chain Comet, like-for-likes fell 3.9%, while total sales declined 3.4%. Kesa said Comet faced “strong comparatives following its market out performance last year”.
At Kesa’s French arm Darty, like-for-likes grew 3.6% on total sales that increased 5.2%.
In its Developing Business, including Italy and Turkey, like-for-likes increased 7.8%, while total sales jumped 9%.
Online sales soared 19.3% in the period.
Kesa chief executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said: “We were well prepared for our peak trading season and saw improving sales trends in most of our businesses. I am particularly pleased with the performance at Darty France and the progress we are making in our Developing businesses with positive like-for-like sales in all their markets.”
Shore Capital analyst Kate Calvert said: “This is a mixed picture with what appears to be a better-than-forecast performance from Darty offset by a weaker-than-expected performance from Comet.”
Philip Dorgan, analyst at Ambrian, maintains his hold recommendation for Kesa: “We believe it will struggle to grow its profits over the long term given the disintermediation of its sector online.”