October 25, 2018 / 5:23 AM / 19 days ago

Electronics retailer Ceconomy blames hot weather for poor sales

BERLIN (Reuters) - Ceconomy (CECG.DE), Europe’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, reported a 3.8 percent drop in sales in its fiscal fourth quarter, which it blamed on unusually hot weather in July and August in its home market of Germany.

Ceconomy, which earlier this month said its chief executive was leaving after a profit warning sent its shares tumbling, posted quarterly sales of 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion), with Germany, Austria and Switzerland contracting 4 percent.

Ceconomy said sales grew at a double digit rate in Hungary and Turkey and were also positive in Italy, although they fell elsewhere in western Europe.

Ceconomy, which runs more than 1,000 Media Markt and Saturn stores in countries across Europe, has seen its business stagnate as sales of consumer electronics have shifted online.

Ceconomy said earlier this month that Pieter Haas, CEO since the company split from retailer Metro (B4B.DE) last year, had agreed to leave by mutual consent, with CFO Mark Frese and management board member Dieter Haag Molkenteller taking over on an interim basis.

Under Haas, Ceconomy had sought to better integrate its stores and its online offering, and also sell more services, like fixing and installing electronic devices, as it seeks to differentiate itself from ecommerce players like Amazon (AMZN.O).

On Thursday, the retailer said online sales rose by 10 percent in the quarter to account for 12 percent of total sales, while sales of services were up 3 percent to make up 8 percent of the total.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson, Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Maria Sheahan

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