PARIS, Sept 12 Darty Plc, Europe's
third-largest electricals retailer, reported a 1.0 percent fall
in like-for-like revenue for the first quarter to July 31, and
said challenging market conditions would continue to put
pressure on margins.
Sales at Darty France, which represents 70 percent of
group's total revenue, dropped 0.4 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 is 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.
Overall gross margin for the group was down 90 basis points
in the first quarter, reflecting strong growth in smart phones
and tablets and ongoing price pressure.