Pre-tax profits at French electricals specialist Darty surged 71% to €24.3m (£17.5m) in its first half after plans for growth paid off. 

Darty, which is on the brink of a potential acquisition by domestic rival Fnac, said group retail profit increased 36% to €36.1m (£26m) in the six months to October 31.

Darty is the target of an agreed takeover bid by rival Fnac


Darty pre-tax profits surged 71% to €24.3m (£17.5m) in its first half

Retail profit in France jumped 51% while it also increased in Belgium. Operating profit increased to €22m from €21.1m. 

Darty said there were increased losses in the Netherlands following disruption as a result of the implementation of a new IT system. 

Group sales at the retailer, which has about 400 stores in Europe, edged up 1.2% to €1.6bn (£1.15bn) while group like-for-like sales rose 1.1%. 

Looking at the second quarter alone, the retailer said its performance had improved, with like-for-like sales up 4.7% in France and 2.5% for the group.

During the period, the retailer said it had experienced strong trading from the summer Sale and ‘back to school’ period.

Improved offer

Chief Executive Régis Schultz said sales had ”held up well in the past few weeks despite events in France and Belgium”, adding that the company was “well prepared for the peak trading period”.

Darty chairman Alan Parker said: “This was a good first-half performance as the benefits of our three year ‘Nouvelle Confiance’ (new confidence) strategy delivered clear results.

“We have devised a new plan, ‘Confiance 4.0’, to secure further growth building on our market leadership position, strong brand, improved customer service offer and expansion into new catchment areas through our franchise programme.

“On 20 November Fnac launched a pre-conditional offer for Darty but until such a time as that offer completes, we remain fully committed to delivering on our plans and it remains business as usual.”

Schultz said: “We have made a strong start to the year with market share gains, significantly improved profit performance and a substantial reduction in our net debt.

“Our growth initiatives, the franchise operation, extended kitchen offer and, are progressing and delivering good results. We also continue to innovate in terms of digitalisation and have enhanced our market leading services with same- and next-day delivery and installation in France for large appliances and the launch of a services market place.”