PARIS, May 22 (Reuters) - Darty Plc, Europe’s third-largest electricals retailer, is banking on the upcoming football World Cup to boost its sales of TV sets after it suffered a 0.8 percent decline in like-for-like quarterly revenue amid challenging markets.
“In the fourth quarter (to end April) vision sales were poor as people were waiting for new offers for the World Cup. We expect vision sales (growth) to be positive in the first quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Dominique Platt told Reuters by phone.
Sales at Darty France, which represents 70 percent of group revenue, eased 0.2 percent in the quarter, a slowdown from 4.9 percent growth in the previous quarter.
The fourth quarter to end April is traditionally Darty’s weaker quarter, making around 20 percent of annual sales.
Darty France however outperformed a drop of around 3 percent on the overall French market, with market share gains in all major products, Platt said.
Like its larger rivals - Metro’s Media-Saturn and Dixons Retail - Darty is facing weak consumer spending and competition from online retailers.
London-listed 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.
In December, Darty agreed to sell its Turkish business under a plan to eliminate losses in non-core markets and last month completed the acquisition of French multimedia website Mistergoodeal.
Darty also continues to review its Datart business in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“If the opportunity comes to sell at a reasonable price, we may do it but we are not rushing to sell,” Platt said.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus