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Kingfisher hails 'solid' start to the year

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, has said it made a “solid” start to the new financial year as sales at its Screwfix chain climbed by 26.8%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Kingfisher hails 'solid' start to the year

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, has said it made a “solid” start to the new financial year as sales at its Screwfix chain climbed by 26.8%.

In the 13 weeks to 2 May, total sales in the UK and Ireland rose by 3.1% while like-for-like sales edged up 1.6%.

Reported retail profit was down 4.8% at £150 million after being impacted by £10 million adverse foreign exchange movements on the translation of non-sterling profits and £7 million charges for new country development activity. On a constant currency basis, retail profit, excluding new country development, was up 3.1% to £157 million.

Sales at B&Q fell by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis and by 1.5% on a total basis as sales of outdoor seasonal and building products declined. Meanwhile, total sales at the group’s Screwfix chain climbed by 26.8% with like-for-like sales increasing by 15.4%.

Kingfisher said it had made agreements to dispose of a quarter of the B&Q stores that had been identified for closure as part of plans to turn the business around.

Total sales in France, where Kingfisher operates the Castorama and Brico Dépôt chains, edged up 0.4% but fell by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis due to a soft market.

Véronique Laury, Kingfisher chief executive, said: "We have made a solid start to the year against strong comparatives. In the UK, B&Q continued to grow sales volumes and Screwfix delivered an excellent performance, opening its 400th store in May. In France, our businesses performed broadly in line with the market.

"We are also making good early progress with our 'ONE' Kingfisher plan to unlock our potential by creating a single, unified company where customer needs come first. Our first 'sharp' decisions are being worked on at pace.” 

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