Kingfisher posts drop in half year sales and profit
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has posted a drop in half year sales and profit after facing strong comparatives from the prior year and a more challenging trading environment.
In the six months to 31 July, the DIY group’s sales declined by 4.1% at constant currency to £6.8 billion while statutory pre-tax profit fell by 30% to £474 million.
While sales in the UK were down 41.3% in the period, sales in France edged up 0.3%, or 2.4% at constant currency. Meanwhile sales in the rest of the world, which includes Iberia, Poland, Romania, and Turkey, rose by 43.7%, or 52.1%, on a constant currency basis.
Kingfisher said B&Q saw an improvement in one-year like-for-like trends from its first to second quarter as it benefited from more favourable weather conditions and improved product availability.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher chief executive, said: “Kingfisher has delivered a very resilient first half of sales. While facing very strong comparatives from the prior year as well as a more challenging environment, like-for-like sales were 16.6% ahead of pre-pandemic levels with a sequential improvement from Q1 to Q2.
“This was driven by the extension of share gains in all our key markets, reflecting successful execution of our strategy, and resilient sales from both DIY and trade customers. We are now back to pre-pandemic levels for in-store product availability and maintaining competitive pricing across our banners.”
Kingfisher said it has made an encouraging start the second half of its financial year with like-for-like sales down 0.7% on a one-year basis and up 15.2% on a three-year basis up to 17 September. It also revealed that it is seeing continued resilience in the outdoor and ‘big-ticket’ item categories.
The group said its half year performance and current trading in is consistent with FY 22/23 adjusted pre-tax profit guidance of around £770 million. However, it has run several trading scenarios to take into account the potential for a more uncertain macroeconomic environment and said these all point to a range of outcomes of between £730 million and £770 million.
Garnier added: “Looking to the months ahead, although trading in the year to date has been in line with our expectations, we remain vigilant against the more uncertain economic outlook for the second half. We are therefore focussed on delivering value to our customers at a time when they need it most. You can expect continued strong execution, with a focus on growing sales and market share, effective management of our gross margin, and alignment of our costs and inventories to market conditions.”
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