Kingfisher first quarter sales dented by adverse weather
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has reported a 4% decline in its group like-for-like sales in its first quarter after footfall in its stores was affected by adverse weather.
Total sales in the UK and Ireland in the three months to 30 April were down 3.7% with like-or-like sales falling by 5.4% despite a “solid” performance at Screwfix.
Like-for-like sales at B&Q dropped by 9% due to lower footfall and soft demand. Kingfisher said adverse weather conditions and temporary snow related store closures impacted like-for-like sales by around 6%.
Screwfix performed much better with like-for-like sales up by 3.6% including a 2% impact from store closure due to snow.
In France where Kingfisher operates the Castorama and Brico Dépôt brands, total sales were down 3.6% with like-for-likes down 3.9%.
Véronique Laury, Kingfisher chief executive, said: “It was a challenging start to the year with exceptionally harsh weather across Europe and weak UK consumer demand. This impacted footfall, especially sales of weather related categories. February and March were particularly affected with sales improving over the course of April and into May.“
Kingfisher said it is still on track to deliver the year three strategic milestones set out in its transformation plan. It said around 40% of its ranges are now unified and continue to be well received by customers. Looking ahead, the company said market conditions continue to be mixed.
Laury added: “The UK is uncertain, as demonstrated by recent weak retail sales data; France is encouraging, but volatile; whilst Poland continues to be supportive. We remain confident about delivering the business and customer benefits of our transformation plan, supported by the continued hard work and expertise of our colleagues.”
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