Darty year profit slumps

LONDON, June 19 Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:15am EDT

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - Darty, Europe's No. 3 electrical goods retailer, posted an expected slump in year profit, hit by weak economies in the euro zone and a structural shift to online sales.

The firm, which trails Metro's Media-Saturn and Dixons Retail by annual sales, said on Wednesday it made an underlying pretax profit of 26.4 million euros in the year to April 30.

That compared with analysts' consensus forecast of 25 million euros, reduced after a February profit warning, and was down on the 78.7 million euros made in 2011-12.

Darty, which trades from over 450 stores, has responded to the downturn by exiting loss-making operations in Britain, Italy and Spain and focusing on its core markets of France, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as reducing costs.

After taking account of discontinued operations and booking exceptional costs of 115.3 million euros, the firm made a total loss of 105.3 million euros.

Darty did, however, maintain its full year dividend at 3.5 cents, saying it was confident of an improvement in earnings over the medium term.

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