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Snow hits Comet results

Simon Quicke

Bad weather took its toll on electrical retailer Comet's performance over the winter period as its parent Kesa Electricals blamed the snow for customers staying away.

For the three months ended 18 January Comet saw revenue growth decline year-on-year by 7.3% and saw its operations in developing countries Italy, Turkey and Spain also hit hard with a 8.8% drop in revenues.

Comet has also been hit by the VAT rise which the retailer said had led top a softening of sales trends.

The French operation Darty managed to keep stable which helped the overall group revenue figure grow by 0.4% and web sales increased by 11% helping avoid losing some orders to the weather. But it warned that the pre tax profits are expected to be ahead of last year but at the low end of expectations.

Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, chief executive at Kesa, said that it remained confident its strategy, which involves rolling the Darty brand into other territories, would pay off and it had "in place a number of additional measures to improve revenue and reduce costs".

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