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Kingfisher profit impacted by weak French sales

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has reported a 30.1% drop in half year profit as it works through the challenges arising from its transformation plan.

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Kingfisher profit impacted by weak French sales

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has reported a 30.1% drop in half year profit as it works through the challenges arising from its transformation plan.

In the six months to 31 July, pre-tax profit declined to £281 million from £402 million in the previous year. On an underlying basis pre-tax profit was down 14.8% to £375 million.

The company said a “solid” performance in the UK and Poland was offset by weakness in France where the group operates the Castorama and Brico Dépôt brands.

Véronique Laury, Kingfisher chief executive, said: "The extent and pace of change in the retail sector is profound. We saw these changes and acted early. We're now halfway through our ONE Kingfisher transformation and we are well on our way to becoming a truly customer led, digital, and efficient business.

"Transformation on this scale is tough, and there are challenges that we're working through. There is still much to do to improve our performance in France and to remove inefficiencies within the business as we continue to transform at pace. I am confident that we have the right plan and the opportunity for Kingfisher is significant. “

Looking ahead to the company's full year results, Laury said the business is on track to deliver its strategic milestones for the third year in a row although the outlook for its main markets continues to be mixed.

She added: "We firmly believe in the transformation plan benefits and maintain our ambition. The environment is making our task more difficult than expected and we will always take the right decisions for the company in the long-term."

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