Comet revenue up 9.6 per cent
Europe's third largest electricals retailer Kesa has posted results 'towards the bottom end' of analysts' expectations, with a rise in pre-tax profit of 15.4 per cent to£165.4 million for the year to January 31.

The group, which includes Britain's 249-strong Comet chain, said that although like-for-like sales were up 7.8 per cent, it expected sales trends 'not at the same rate as last year'.

Chief executive Jean-Noel Labroue said that sales last year had been driven by the football World Cup, which increased sales of TVs. 'This year we anticipate strong market conditions, but at a lower level,' he said.

Revenue at Comet increase 9.6 per cent to£1.67 billion and like-for-likes were up 8.8 per cent. This contributed to an increase in Kesa's overall revenue of 9.8 per cent to£4.5 billon.

Labroue added that Kesa would 'accelerate our investments' over the coming year, primarily in its Comet and Darty businesses. He said this morning that this would increase capital expenditure on the company to£140 million by the end of January 2008 - up from£111.6 million the year before.

He highlighted the initial success of mezzanine floors, which have now been installed in nine Comet stores, increasing sales by 50 per cent. The floors will be added to a further 40 stores over the next three years.

Seymour Pierce analyst Andrew Wade said that the results were 'largely in line with, if towards the bottom end of', what analysts had expected. He added that, although the trading outlook was slowing, 'consoles, games and computers should drive sales for the year'.