September 12, 2013 / 6:26 AM / 4 years ago

Electricals retailer Darty first-quarter sales down

PARIS, Sept 12 (Reuters) - 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.

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