Electricals retailer Kesa’s has revealed a better-than-expected first half, with adjusted group pre-tax profit jumping 37% to £14.9m in the six months to October 31.

Group like-for-likes fell 2.5% while total sales increased 7.6% to £2.3bn. In constant currency this was a rise of 0.1%.

Comet achieved a 3.6% uplift in revenue in the period, to £749.3m, with the retail loss narrowing from £8.1m to £1.2m, benefiting from the continued easing of gross margins decline. Like-for-likes climbed 2%, reflecting “continuing market share gains”.

Darty France’s turnover increased 12.2% to £1.1bn, while retail profit at the chain jumped 12.7% to £45.2m.

Chief executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said: “Trading conditions across all our markets continued to be challenging with widely varying geographic market conditions. However, the Group has delivered a solid performance over the first half of the year, ahead of our major markets. 

“The outlook for the second half of the year remains uncertain but our businesses are prepared and well positioned for the more significant peak trading period.”

The retailer said web sales are “forecast to grow significantly over the next few years”.

Kesa, which operates 800 stores, will open around 25 stores per year across the group.