Kesa Electricals said it would rename itself Darty to reflect its key brand after the group slid into an annual loss following the sale of its struggling British arm Comet.

Kesa, which runs the Darty electrical stores in France, recorded a net loss of €313.9m in the 12 months to April 30, compared with a profit after tax of €30.7m in 2010/11.

"2011/12 was a difficult year for the group as market conditions were tough," Kesa chairman David Newlands said in the company's earnings statement.

"Following the disposal of Comet, the board has decided to rename the group as Darty to reflect in our name our iconic brand," he added. The change would occur from the end of July.

Kesa also said that Newlands would step down as chairman after nine years in the post, to be replaced by Alan Parker, a senior independent Kesa director.

Kesa agreed in 2011 to sell loss-making Comet for a nominal fee of £2 sterling to private investment firm OpCapita. However it also agreed to inject £50m into the business and retain responsibility for Comet's pension deficit of €46m, before offloading the chain that runs 248 stores across Britain and employs 10,000 staff.