City analysts have reacted with horror after electricals group Kesa reported a first-quarter sales slump at its top businesses.

Worst hit was UK chain Comet, which posted a 9.9 per cent like-for-like sales slump that propelled it towards a first-half loss. Comparable store sales at French flagship Darty slid 3.2 per cent.

Investec’s David Jeary, advising sell, said there would be material downgrades and that consensus forecasts of£133 million could be scaled back by as much as£20 million.

Citi’s Ben Spruntulis, also recommending sell, said: “Management has rightly been focusing on margin protection and we therefore expect costs to be down year on year at Comet, but against a deteriorating consumer we fear for a continuation of these weak top-line trends.”

Landsbanki’s Paul Deacon, urging reduce, said the electricals market “is menaced by cyclical and structural pressures”.