Kingfisher posts first half sales and profit jump
Kingfisher, the parent company of B&Q and Screwfix, has increased its first half adjusted pre-tax profit by 61.6% to £669 million after it benefited from a boom in DIY during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales in the the six months to 31 July climbed by 22.2% in constant currency to £7.1 billion after trade was driven by demand for home improvement products across the group’s retail and trade channels. Like-for-like sales also saw a strong uplift, rising by 22.8% year-on-year and by 21.3% compared to two years ago.
On a statutory basis, pre-tax profit increased by 70.6% to £677 million.
The group achieved a particularly strong performances in the UK and Ireland, France, Iberia and Romania. However, trade in Poland was impacted by Covid-19 related temporary store closures in the group’s first quarter.
Meanwhile, retail profit was up 45.1% in constant currency, driven by strong UK and Ireland profit growth and France profit growth of over 100%.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher chief executive, said: “We have had a very strong first half of the year, with growth across all our categories and channels, particularly e-commerce. This is a testament to the rapid progress being made against our strategic priorities which continue to drive customer engagement and an improved competitive position in our key markets. For this, I remain extremely grateful to all our colleagues for their continuous effort and outstanding customer service.”
Kingfisher said it had made a good start to the second half of the financial year, with resilient demand across all markets.
Third quarter like-for-like sales to 18 September were down own 0.6% on the same period last year, but up 16.1% on a two-year basis.
The group is now increasing its second half sales expectations by planning for like-for-like sales scenarios of -7% to -3% compared to a previous -15% to -5%. This will be mark an increase of between 9% and 13% compared to two years ago. In addition, it is anticipating that full year adjusted pre-tax profit will be in the range of around £910 million to £950 million.
Kingfisher also revealed that it is accelerating Screwfix’s expansion in the UK and Ireland, and will open its first Screwfix stores in France in 2022.
Looking ahead, Garnier said: “Our industry is benefiting from new trends that we believe will be supportive over the long term. These include people spending more time working from home, the emergence of a new generation of DIYers, the need for greener homes, and a strong housing market. Kingfisher is well placed to capitalise on these trends and deliver sustained outperformance.”