Kesa Electricals has warned that the market will tighten for the rest of the year despite returning to profit at group level with Darty France and Comet offsetting steep losses in developing operations.
Sales for the 12 months ended 30 April 2010 fell on a like-for-like basis to £5.1bn but profit before tax was nearly £70m compared to losses of £81.9m a year ago.
Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, Kesa chief executive, said it had taken market share from rivals, boosted web sales and upped its game in France.
"The group continues to demonstrate its resilience to difficult market conditions," he said in a statement.
Sales at Darty France went up 7.4% to £2.47bn and operating profit went up 14% to £118.4m, while turnover at UK retail chain Comet dipped 0.6% to £1.65bn and operating profit grew nearly 14% to £11.5m.
The 'developing' Darty operations in Switzerland (sold 6 July 2009), Italy, Turkey and Menajie del Hogar had revenues of £5m and made losses of £1.3m.
BCC, Vanden Borne and Datart sales were £685m, down 0.2% and operating profits of £14.4 represented a fall of 28%.
The start to fiscal 2011 has been "in line with expectations" said Kesa's Falque-Pierrotin but he warned "we anticipate our major markets remaining challenging for the rest of the current financial year."