Total group sales at Kesa, which owns Comet in the UK, were up 11.3 per cent between February 1 and July 18, with Comet's total sales up 10.5 per cent. Comet's like-for-like sales performance was also strong, up 8.6 per cent.
Kesa's French business Darty reported very similar increases - sales were up 10.3 per cent in total and 8.8 per cent like for like.
In both the UK and France, the growth was driven by strong demand for flatscreen televisions for the World Cup. However, the company warned that sales of white goods at Comet had been weak and that this had adversely affected the margin mix. Comet is expected to make a small profit in the first half.
'The World Cup effect will have brought forward some television sales and we remain cautious about the outlook for our important second half,' said Kesa chief executive Jean-Noel Labroue.