Kingfisher sales impacted by slowing trade in France and Poland
In the ten weeks to 12 July, sales in Poland were down 3.4% on a total basis and by 3.5% on a like-for-like basis as sales of outdoor and seasonal products dropped by almost 9%, representing around 20% of sales.
In France, total sales were down 1.4% with like-for-like sales falling by 2.2% following a softening of the home improvement market in the country.
Kingfisher group chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire said: "Trading in our Q2 was always expected to be more difficult, annualising a very strong Q2 performance last year and following this year's weather boosted Q1.
“However, our markets in Q2, notably in June, have been slower than anticipated particularly in France and Poland. It is unclear whether this recent weakness is short term phasing in nature, though we will know more by our interims in September having then traded through our key summer months. In the meantime we are accelerating our self-help margin and cost initiatives to help support our second half performance.”
In the UK and UK & Ireland, total sales were up 0.7% but down 1.3% on a like-for-like basis.
B&Q total sales fell by 2.5% while like-for-like sales dropped by 3.2%. Sales of outdoor and seasonal products were down almost 8% in the period, representing around 35% of total sales. Showroom sales, which includes kitchens, bathroom and bedrooms, were down around 6% reflecting less promotional activity.
In contrast, Screwfix sales surged by 22.6% on total basis and by 11.8% on a like-for-like basis. The retailer is on track to have opened 12 new outlets during the second quarter to take the total to 356.
Kingfisher has also confirmed that it has reached a binding agreement to purchase French home improvement retailer Mr Bricolage.
Sir Ian added: “I am delighted that this transaction, which was announced in April, has now become binding and will progress to anti-trust clearances. Adding a third, complementary strong business alongside Castorama and Brico Dépôt will provide us with an attractive growth opportunity in our most important market."
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