Kingfisher unveils new strategy as it posts drop in sales and profits
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has posted a decline in full year sales and profits as it embarks on a new strategy to transform the business.
In the year to 31 January, sales dropped by 1.5% to £11.5 billion or by 0.8% at constant currency. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales fell by 1.5% as growth at Screwfix and at Kingfisher’s Polish and Romanian businesses was offset by weaker sales at B&Q in the UK and in its French, Russian and Iberian divisions.
However, like-for like sales improved in all retail fascias in Kingfisher’s fourth quarter which meant that overall like-for-like sales were up 1.7% in the period.
During the year, adjusted pre-tax profit fell by 5.2% to £544 million while on a statutory basis it declined by 65.7% to £103 million.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher chief executive, said: “On joining the business in late September 2019 my priorities were to build the executive team, stabilise our operational performance and prepare a new plan. We have a strong new team in place. We ended FY 19/20 in better shape, after a disappointing first nine months, by returning the group to positive like-for-like sales growth in Q4 as well as for the start of FY 20/21.”
Following eight new appointments to its executive team, Kingfisher has launched a new strategy as it looks to manage the impact of Covid-19, move to a more local group operating model and grow online sales. It will also be working to build a mobile-first, service orientated customer experience, improve its sourcing and buying operations, and test new store concepts.
Garnier added: “Our clear intent is to become a more digital and service orientated company, using our strong store assets as a platform. We will continue to develop our own exclusive brands as a differentiator, cater for diverse local customer needs, and each retail banner will have its own positioning and plan. We will ‘power’ these banners as a group. This is our new strategic direction, ‘Powered by Kingfisher’.
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