Kingfisher profit down 5.9%
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, saw its group retail profit drop by 5.9% to Â£257 million in its third quarter as sales fell in its main markets of the UK and France.
In the 13 weeks to 27 October, revenue edged up 0.8% to £2.7 billion at constant currencies while retail profits rose by 0.1% on the same basis. Group like-for-like sales fell by 2.8%.
In the UK, Kingfisher's biggest market, total sales fell by 0.7% to £1.05 billion. On a like-for-like basis sales dropped by 3.8%. Retail profit grew by 5.5% to £59 million driven by a higher gross margin and cost cutting initiatives.
Ian Cheshire, the group’s chief executive, said: "Following a particularly tough first half, I am pleased that our teams' hard work has delivered a solid profit performance in our third quarter, one of our most significant trading periods in the year. Our markets remain challenging, with consumer confidence still weak and so we maintain our strong focus on margin, costs and cash.
"Kingfisher is in good shape and I remain enthusiastic about our longer-term prospects under our new 'Creating the Leader' programme which will establish us as a world class retailer at helping customers have better and more sustainable homes."
At B&Q in the UK & Ireland, total sales fell by 2.3% to £906 million, dropping 4% on a life-for-like basis. The group said this was a reflection the weak consumer backdrop in the UK and a "particularly challenging" environment in Ireland.
Retail profit grew by 1.7% to £45 million as the retailer benefited from higher gross margins and operating cost efficiencies including lower bonus provisions.
At Screwfix total sales increased by 10.9% to £149 million boosted by the continued roll out of new outlets, the success of a new 'click, pay & collect' scheme and a redesigned catalogue. Retail profit rose by 19.8% to £14 million.
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