Kingfisher Q2 sales hit by wet weather
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, said the exceptionally wet weather in the UK during its second quarter had dampened demand for its outdoor products as customers switched their focus to DIY projects.
In the ten weeks to 7 July 2012, total group sales rose by 3.7% but like-for-like sales dipped by 0.4%.
Chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "The unprecedented wet weather across Northern Europe has continued throughout our second quarter so far, clearly impacting footfall and consumer demand for outdoor and seasonal products.
"However, additional marketing and promotional activity helped encourage customers to switch some of their activity to internal repairs and projects, partially offsetting the weather related weakness, particularly in the UK. We also took the necessary promotional action to clear horticultural stocks."
Total sales in the UK and Ireland increased 5% in the quarter while like-for-like sales were up 1.1%. Revenues at B&Q rose by 4.9% with like-for-like sales growing by 1.6%. Kingfisher said it expected gross margins to be down at the DIY chain as a result of markdowns and promotions to attract shoppers.
Screwfix sales grew by 7.2% driven by new ranges and the continued roll-out of new outlets.
In France revenues at the Brico Depot DIY chain were down 4.5% while sales increased by 1.5% in Poland and by 48.5% in Russia.
Cheshire added: "Whilst these exceptional weather patterns have impacted us in the short term we continued to progress with the key steps of our 'Creating the Leader' programme of self-help, including accelerating the introduction of new, common ranges in the quarter. I remain confident that this programme will see us emerge as a world class retailer at helping our customers have better, more sustainable homes."
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