Kingfisher lowers full year profit guidance after weaker sales in France
Kingfisher has revised its full year profit guidance after being impacted by weaker sales in France and other international markets.
In the three months to 31 October, total sales at its French Castorama and Brico Dépôt fascias declined by 8.7% to £1.034 billion.
Meanwhile, total sales in Poland, Iberia and Romania dropped by 2.9%, 4.1% and 6.6% respectively.
However, Kingfisher was boosted by a stronger performance in the UK and Ireland where it operates the B&Q and Screwfix brands. Revenue increased by 3.3% to £1.597 billion after sales at B&Q and Screwfix rose by a respective 1.1% and 0.9% on a like-for-like basis.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher’s chief executive, said: “Our UK banners performed well in Q3, with B&Q, TradePoint and Screwfix growing sales and market share.
“In France, our performance was impacted by a weak retail market, as well as a delayed start to insulation, plumbing and heating sales – to which Brico Dépôt is more heavily weighted – due to unusually warm autumn weather, and strong prior year comparatives in these categories.
“In Poland we are seeing early signs of recovery in the trading trend, against an incrementally more positive consumer and economic backdrop. Reflecting the weakness of the French market, and notwithstanding our proactive cost actions, we have lowered our Group profit guidance for the full year.”
Kingfisher has now lowered its full year adjusted pre-tax profit guidance to around £560 million from a previous £590 million.
Giving an update on fourth quarter trading, Kingfisher said the period had started largely in line with the trends seen in the previous quarter with resilience in the UK and market weakness in France.
Garnier continued: “As we move into 2024, we are focused on what is in our control. First, a continued focus on growing market share in the UK, France and Poland with delivery of our strategic growth initiatives. Second, driving productivity gains to offset wage inflation. And finally, delivering on our free cash flow and shareholder returns targets.
“On the medium-to-longer term outlook, we remain very positive for home improvement growth in our markets, and our ability to grow ahead of our markets.”