Kingfisher cautious on outlook despite rise in sales
Kingfisher, the owner of the B&Q DIY chain and Screwfix, has reported delivering a solid sales performance in its second quarter after like-for-like sales rose by 7.2% in the UK and Ireland.
In the three months to 31 July, B&Q UK & Ireland increased its total sales by 0.3% despite store closures. Like-for-like sales climbed by 5.6%.
Screwfix saw total sales increase by 24.4% with like-for-like growth of 13.3% as the retailer benefited from its omichannel approach, new and extended ranges and new outlets.
The performance in Kingfisher’s international business was mixed. Sales in Poland were up 7.3% on a like-for-like basis but like-for-like sales at Kingfisher’s Castorama chain in France fell by 3.3%. Sales at the French Brico Dépôt business were also down, falling by 3.1% on a like-for-like basis.
The group said trading in France had been hindered by widespread industrial action and exceptionally wet weather in the period after a more encouraging first quarter.
Across the Kingfisher group, total sales rose by 3% to over £3 billion.
French Véronique Laury, Kingfisher chief executive, said the group remained cautious about its short-term outlook, adding: "We have delivered another solid sales performance in Q2 driven by the UK and Poland. In the UK, the EU referendum result has created uncertainty for the economic outlook, although there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on our businesses.”
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