Kingfisher drives growth as profits rise
Kingfisher, the owner DIY chains B&Q and Screwfix, has reported a 20% rise in pre-tax profit to £807 million for the year ending 28 January.
The rise has been driven by an 11.6% increase in profit for its UK and Ireland businesses as well as by strong sales and improved margins at its Castorama and Brico Dépôt in France.
Although like-for-like sales declined by 1.8% at B&Q and rose by a modest 1.9% at Screwfix, both businesses reported improved gross margins which boosted UK retail profit by 11.6%.
The company announced a new eight step programme for building on its success and for making Kingfisher the market leader in the DIY sector. Plans include expanding within current markets, opening 67 new stores and entering emerging and developing markets.
In the UK plans include giving customers more ways to shop through the introduction of mobile apps and click-pay-collect-in-store initiatives. The company also plans to roll out DIY training classes and launch a B&Q You Tube channel with 'how to' video instructions.
Chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "We have much more to do, but I believe Kingfisher is now well on the way to fulfilling its potential as the industry leader in home improvement.
"This is an exciting prospect for both our colleagues and our shareholders. Industry leadership will bring with it an outperformance in sales, profit and economic return, making Kingfisher a more valuable business."
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