Kingfisher hails record year
B&Q owner Kingfisher has enjoyed a record year of revenue and profits as it gained market share in both the UK and France.
In the year to 31 January, like-for-like sales at B&Q and Screwfix rose by 12.3% and 10.9% respectively. Meanwhile sales in France, where Kingfisher operates the Castorama and Brico Dépôt brands, rose by 9.3%.
Adjusted pre-tax profit across the group increased by 20.9% in the period to reach £949 million whilst revenue grew by 6.8% to £13.2 billion.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher chief executive, said: “Kingfisher has delivered a year of very strong financial performance. We saw growth in all banners and categories, with resilient demand from both DIY and DIFM/trade segments – each representing 50% of group sales.
“We continue to leverage our stores assets and group technology to drive forward our e-commerce proposition, with faster click & collect and home delivery, and broader product choices for our customers.
“B&Q had an outstanding year, with sales passing £4 billion. It was also a record year of expansion for Screwfix, with 70 new stores opened in the UK and Ireland, and Screwfix France showing very promising early progress.”
Reporting on more current trading, Kingfisher said first quarter like-for-like sales to 19 March were down by 8.1%, reflecting very strong comparatives in the prior year. However, sales were up 16% when compared to the corresponding period two years ago. The group said it has seen resilient demand across all markets which has been supported by good stock availability. It has also benefited from strong demand for big ticket items.
Garnier added: “With the business in a strong position, we are accelerating our investments for growth – through the launch of our scalable e-commerce marketplace, the expansion of Screwfix in the UK and France, new store openings in Poland, and our plans to increase our trade customer base.
“Looking forward, we are confident that these investments, supported by continued strong execution and the new demand-drivers we are seeing in our industry, will drive faster growth in sales, profit and free cash flow.”
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