UPDATE 1-Electrical retailer Darty's first-half revenue falls

Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:34am EST

* First-half like-for-like revenue down 1.7 pct

* Like-for-like revenue from France down 2.8 pct

* Like-for-like revenue from developing businesses down 4.7 pct

* Shares fall 7 pct

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Electrical goods retailer Darty Plc , formerly known as Kesa, reported a 2.2 percent fall in revenue for the six months through October and said business conditions would likely remain challenging, sending its shares down 7 percent.

The company, Europe's third-largest retailer of electrical goods and related accessories, and its bigger rival Media Markt Saturn are battling competition from supermarket chains and online retailers at a time when demand has stagnated.

Darty had to pay a 50 million pounds ($80.4 million) dowry to a private equity firm last year to take its loss-making UK business Comet off its hands.

Comet went into administration earlier this month.

Darty said on Wednesday that it expects to benefit in the remainder of the year from weaker year-ago numbers.

First-half revenue fell 1.7 percent, on a like-for-like basis. Like-for-like revenue fell 2.8 percent in its France business, which provides more than half of Darty's total revenue.

"Sales in Q2 are worse than Q1 and, while comparatives ease in second half, we are not confident," Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan wrote in a note while retaining the brokerage's "sell" recommendation on the stock.

The company, which runs about 500 stores in nine European countries, said it was still looking for a chief executive after it announced the departure of former CEO Thierry Falque-Pierrotin in September.

Shares in the company were down 6 percent at 43.12 pence at 1033 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They fell to a low of 42.5 pence earlier in the session.