Darty to sell Turkish business, H1 core profit up

PARIS Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:56am EST

PARIS Dec 18 (Reuters) - Darty Plc, Europe's third-largest electricals retailer, said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its Turkish business under a plan to eliminate losses in non-core markets and was in talks to buy French multimedia website Mistergoodeal.

Darty also said it was confident it would deliver an improvement in earnings over the medium-term as its turnaround plan was starting to bear fruit and operating profit rose 25.6 percent to 15.2 million euros ($20.87 million) in the first-half ended Oct 31.

Revenue rose 1.8 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Sales at Darty France, which account for 70 percent of group's total revenue, rose 2.7 percent, and the group said its cost-cutting plan in the country was making good progress.

Like its larger rivals - Metro's Media-Saturn and Dixons Retail - Darty has been battling weak consumer spending and competition from online retailers.

Darty, which has more than 450 stores in Europe, has responded by cutting costs, exiting loss-making operations in Italy and Spain and focusing on its core markets of France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Darty shares have gained 78 percent so far this year, outperforming a 15 percent rise in the European retail sector index.

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