Kingfisher sees full-year profits ahead of forecasts.
Like-for-like sales fell 3 per cent, with total sales down 1% to £2.3bn for the 13 weeks to 30 January 2010
B&Q total sales declined by 1.6% to £836 million (-3.5% LFL) reflecting exceptional adverse weather in January with all categories displaying similar trends. Prior to the adverse weather, LFL were slightly up.
Gross margins are expected to be strongly up reflecting reduced promotional activity compared to Q4 last year, better sales of higher margin products and continued shrinkage reduction and supply chain cost efficiencies. Screwfix continued to limit the impact of the challenging trade market with total sales declining 1.4% to £113 million, supported by the continued roll-out of trade counters.
Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, said: "Underlying sales trends remained relatively resilient in the fourth quarter before trading in January was significantly disrupted by the heavy snow and low temperatures across Europe, particularly in the UK and Poland. However, our on-going programme of self-help initiatives on gross margin and costs resulted in strong quarterly profit growth and so we expect our full year earnings will be slightly ahead of current analyst consensus expectations when we announce our annual results next month.
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