These were the first results reported in euros by
Once again the UK business, Comet, struggled. It reported a 3.7 per cent drop in like-for-like sales in the period and a larger than expected loss of €6.4m (£5.4m), up from a loss of €1.8m a year earlier, as the group spent on store refurbishments and a brand overhaul. Difficult market conditions in Spain also meant a 3.8 per cent drop in underlying sales in its developing businesses, although losses were marginally reduced to €16.3m.
But the French operation, Darty, once again put in a storming performance, increasing profits by 16.3 per cent to €59.8m on a 5.2 per cent increase in sales. Management said that there's scope to lift retail margins at Darty from the current 4.8 per cent back towards the historical high of 6.9 per cent.
Broker Altium Securities expects underlying full-year pre-tax profits of €115.5m, giving EPS of 14.1¢ (2010: €77.8m/8.1¢).
|KESA ELECTRICALS (KESA)|
|ORD PRICE:||169p||MARKET VALUE:||£895m|
|TOUCH:||168-169p||12-MONTH HIGH:||179p||LOW: 98p|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||3.6%||PE RATIO:||17|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||40¢*||NET CASH:||€110m|
|Half-year to 31 Oct||Turnover (€bn)||Pre-tax profit (€m)||Earnings per share (¢)||Dividend per share (¢)|
Ex-div: 2 Mar
Payment: 1 Apr
*Includes intangible assets of €122m, or 23¢ a share £1=€1.19
Given the intense competition in the UK, it's hard to see where Comet's recovery could come from and, with activist shareholder Knight Vinke now holding 9 per cent of the company, management must be paying serious consideration to analysts' calls for a break-up. On a forecast PE ratio of 14 Kesa's shares are up with events. Fairly priced.
Last IC view: Fairly priced, 121p, 23 June 2010