By Max Clarke

Kesa Electricals’ profits have suffered yet again at the hands of ailing out of town retailer, Comet. Revenue increased 2.2% to nearly €6bn, though retail profit fell 2.7% to €107 million, figures released for the group’s 12 month statement show.

Comet’s woes can be in part explained by their location: soaring fuel prices and squeezed household incomes have seen the UK consumer drive to out of town retailers less frequently.

The beleaguered retailer’s sister outlet- the Darty chain popular in Spain and France have, however continued to perform well and have posted increased profits.

“We have made progress against our strategic agenda despite the challenging market conditions,” commented Chief Executive, Thierry Falque-Pierrotin.

“Overall we remained ahead of our markets, successfully grew our profitable web sales, improved the results of Darty France and have taken actions to improve performance at the other businesses.

"We anticipate all our markets will be challenging for the current financial year, particularly in the first half against the World Cup comparatives of last year. However from improved market positions in most of our markets, further cost measures in all countries with specific restructuring at Comet, BCC and Darty Spain and the strength of our cash generation and balance sheet, we are well prepared for these conditions. We remain focused on delivering our strategic plan - further rolling out our specialist business model and improving profitability across the Group. ”

David Newlands, Chairman of Kesa Electricals Plc (LSE: KESA), also commented on the results.

“Overall the Group continued to demonstrate its resilience to difficult market conditions and I am pleased that our earnings position and continued strong cash generation have enabled us to recommend an increase in the total dividend for the year of 6.1 per cent to 7.0 cents per share.

"We have a strong turnaround plan for Comet to restore its profitability in the medium term and in parallel we are examining strategic alternatives to ensure the best overall value for shareholders."