Kesa plans group buying push to drive down costs

Kesa, the electricals giant that owns Comet, will double the quantity of product bought at group level over the next three years.

Group buying for all seven Kesa businesses, including Darty and But in France, accounts for 15 to 20 per cent of product - primarily own-brand - at present, compared with zero three years ago.

Central buying of products such as PCs and branded items will increase to further reduce costs. The proportion will grow to between 30 and 35 per cent over three years, said chief executive Jean-Noel Labroue.

Separately, Labroue said retail expansion opportunities exist in southern Europe, 'where we do not already have a presence'.

Kesa's sales increased 10.1 per cent to£3.77 billion in the year to January 31.

Comet accounted for£1.44 billion of sales, up 2.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Kesa was demerged from Kingfisher a year ago. Labroue commented: 'So far, so good.'