Kesa: Losses will not affect sale of Comet
Kesa Electricals was confident that the sale of its Comet electrical retail chain would be completed as agreed, despite the group slumping into the red in the first half.
The electrical retail group, which owns Darty in France as well as the 248-store Comet chain in the UK, reported a €9.2m (£7.8m) loss in the six months to November, as weak consumer spending quadrupled the deficit at its British operation to €25.7m. Group revenue fell by 7.6 per cent to €2.6bn, as Comet's sales dived by 21 per cent to €683m.
The poor performance of Comet fuelled speculation that OpCapital, the investment group that last month agreed to buy the UK chain from Kesa for a nominal €2m, may struggle to raise the €46.8m of working capital required under the terms of the deal. That loan will be secured against Comet's assets.
However, Kesa chairman David Newlands insisted yesterday that the deal was on track to complete on 3 February. Meanwhile, Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, chief executive, said the situation showed little sign of improvement.
Mr Falque-Pierrotin said: "We have experienced weakening market conditions in the first half of the year. What we've been seeing since the start of the third quarter for us (starting 1 November) is actually the same trends that we saw at the end of the second quarter. It's a declining market but on the same negative numbers we saw at the end of the second quarter.
"We are well prepared for peak season and in the face of ongoing tough market conditions are adjusting our cost to serve."
As part of its deal with OpCapital, Kesa agreed to give the investment firm €58.6m and to take on its pension scheme in return for taking the chain off its hands. Overall, Kesa will take a total writedown of €200m on the deal.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...