European electrical goods retailer Darty said a business overhaul was producing results as it posted higher profits, but warned markets were still tough.
Darty said it had made good progress in eliminating losses in non-core markets with the managed closure of its Spanish business and an agreement to sell its business in Turkey.
Adjusted pre-tax profit rose to €9.4m from €6.6m in the six months to October 31st.
Darty said trading was still difficult and promotional and that together with changes to product mix, continues to pressure margins.
But it said like-for-like sales had been positive and it had made significant market share gains in its core markets of France and Belgium, as well as holding market share in the Netherlands.
There had also been continued double-digit growth of web-generated sales, up 12% to account for more than 13% of total product sales.
The group made a reported pre-tax loss of €16.3m against a profit of €5.3m a year ago, after €25m of one-off charges related to French social employment programmes, and it kept its interim dividend of 0.875 cents.
Chairman Alan Parker said: "The actions we are taking are strengthening and growing our leadership position in our core markets. We are on target with our plans to drive greater efficiency at reduced cost across the group and we now have clear plans for growth over the medium term.
"Market conditions remain challenging but with the momentum we're building, we're confident we will improve earnings over the medium term."
Anglo-German software testing group SQS Software Quality Systems has cited greater penetration into mobile telecoms markets and the US in a confident in-line trading statement.
The AIM-listed company said it was enjoying growth in 'the majority' of its markets as the acquisition of financial services-focused Indian rival Thinksoft, described by one analyst as a 'game-changer', neared full completion by the end of the year.
Chief Executive Diederik Vos said it had been a year of "significant progress", with the proposed acquisition of Thinksoft significantly strengthening offshore capabilities and integration plans "progressing smoothly".
SQS pointed to the securing of managed services contracts and contract extensions worth a combined total of €63.5m plus further contract wins in the US and other geographies, covering financial services, tech and gaming sectors, with a three-year automotive deal in Germany particularly notable. The US business is currently seeing the highest growth rates.
Managed services order intake for the current year now stands at €112.5m.
Vos added: "As we continue to build scale, we see greater potential to compete for larger contracts and we are confident of continued success going forward."