Comet sales fall over Christmas
Comet owner Kesa Electricals revealed a slight fall in sales today and said its French business BUT struggled over Christmas.

Like-for-like sales at the group fell 0.3 per cent overall, with UK chain Comet experiencing a 2 per cent sales dip over the period from November 1 to January 8.

Kesa chief executive Jean-Noel Labroue said: 'Following a difficult November, all our

electricals businesses experienced better sales performances in the key peak trading period. We anticipate that overall, the group will deliver results for the full year towards the lower end of current market expectations.'

French chain Darty experienced like-for-like sales growth of 2.5 per cent. However, French furniture chain BUT had a like-for-like sales fall of 8.6 per cent.

The group's other businesses - which include Darty Italy and Belgian chain Vanden Borre - experienced a 4.6 per cent like-for-like sales improvement.

Investec analyst Matthew McEachran said: 'Another mixed bag overall, with good figures from Darty and a slight improvement at Comet, albeit easily outstripped by Currys yesterday. BUT has worsened, though. BUT declines, coupled with the mix effect of strong technology sales, may be causing some margin dilution.'