Sales plummeted at electricals retailer Comet over Christmas and net debt rose.

The Kesa-owned chain, which is being sold to investment firm OpCapita, suffered a 14.5% decline in like-for-likes and online sales were flat between the start of November and January 8. Total revenues slid 15%.

Although sales had been improving in the run-up to Christmas, performance was poor between Boxing Day and the new year.

Comet’s gross margin improved by approximately 20 basis points, but Kesa reported that “it is likely that the net debt in the business will exceed the net debt threshold by up to £10m to £15m.

The sale of Comet to OpCapita is expected to be completed on February 3.