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Kingfisher posts drop in sales and profits

DIY retail group Kingfisher has posted a decline in both sales and profits following a disappointing performance at B&Q and weak sales in France. In the… View Article

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Kingfisher posts drop in sales and profits

DIY retail group Kingfisher has posted a decline in both sales and profits following a disappointing performance at B&Q and weak sales in France.

In the six months to 31 July, like-for-like sales were down 1.8%  while underlying pre-tax profit fell by 6.4% to £353.3 million.

On statutory basis, pre-tax profit was down 12.5% to £245 million.

Veronique Laury, Kingfisher chief executive, said: “Our transformation activity continued in the first half of this year, including new range launches across the group and the rollout of further capabilities within our unified IT platform. These activities resulted in some ongoing disruption that impacted sales at B&Q and Castorama France. This was partly offset by positive sales performances in Screwfix, which continues to grow its market share, and Poland.”

Looking at the group’s UK business, retail profit dropped by 1.7% to £277 million. Like-for-like sales at B&Q fell by 3.2% as trading was impacted by discontinuation of the retailer’s installation services and ongoing work to introduce new surfaces and décor ranges. In contrast, like-for-like sales at Screwfix climbed by 5.1%.

Meanwhile, like-for-like sales in France, where Kingfisher operates the Castorama and Brico Dépôt brands, dropped by 4.4%.

Kingfisher said the outlook across its main markets for the rest of the year remains mixed.

The group announced in June that Thierry Garnier would be joining the business as its new chief executive.

In today’s statement, Kingfisher chairman Andy Cosslett said: “The board and I would like to thank Véronique for her vision and her determination in laying the foundations for our future growth.

“In Thierry Garnier, who joins Kingfisher next week, we have found the right individual with the right skills and experience to build on the platform that we are establishing. In the near term our focus will be on improving execution and delivering on our key priorities for the year.”

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