Kesa Sees Profit at ‘Mid Point’ as Fourth-Quarter Sales Worsen

Kesa Electricals Plc (KESA), the owner of the Darty electronics retailer, said annual profit will be at the “mid-point” of investor expectations after reporting sales worsened as it sold fewer televisions.

Revenue at stores open at least a year declined 5.9 percent in the period from Jan. 9 to April 30, Kesa said in a statement. That compares to the average estimate of 5 analysts for a 5.3 percent fall, and is worse than the prior quarter’s 1.3 percent decline. Full-year adjusted profit before tax will be “around the mid-point of the range of current market expectations.”

Television sales fell by more than 30 percent because of the switchover to digital last year, London-based Kesa said. The retailer announced earlier this month that more tie-ups could be on the agenda after it agreed to sell 99.9 percent of its telecommunications unit to Bouygues SA, France’s third-largest mobile-phone operator, for 40 million euros ($51 million). It sold its U.K. Comet business in February.

“Since last reporting in January, trading conditions have been volatile and have remained weak in most of our markets, particularly in Vision and in Italy and Spain,” Chief Executive Officer Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said.

Kesa shares fell 3.4 percent to 54.1 pence in London trading yesterday. The stock has declined 19.6 percent this year.

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