Bloomberg News

Kesa Electricals Reports First-Half Loss as All Markets Worsen

December 07, 2011

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Kesa Electricals Plc, the electronics retailer that’s selling its U.K. Comet chain, reported a first- half loss after sales deteriorated in all its main divisions, and said market conditions continue to be “tough.”

The adjusted pretax loss was 13.6 million euros ($18 million) in the six months through Oct. 31 compared with a profit of 25 million euros a year earlier, London-based Kesa said today in a statement. The interim dividend was held at 2.25 cents.

Business in France, Spain and Italy has declined as consumers across Europe rein in spending on non-discretionary items such as electronic products and kitchens. The retailer announced plans to exit the money-losing Comet chain on Nov. 9 through a deal with OpCapita LLP in which it pays the investment firm 50 million pounds ($78 million) to take on the 248-store chain.

In France, Spain and Italy “political risk is rising, austerity measures are growing and consumer confidence is fading,” Citigroup analyst Ben Spruntulis said in a report before the release. “This weak macro environment drives clear downside risk for calendar 2012 earnings.”

Kesa fell 6.1 percent to 81.7 pence in London trading yesterday.

--Editors: Thomas Mulier, Tom Lavell

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net


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