Profits down at Kingfisher as wet weather impacts sales
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, saw first quarter total sales in the UK and Ireland fall by 6.9% as adverse weather impacted sales.
In the 13 weeks to 28 April the group’s total sales in the UK and Ireland fell to £1,105 million with like-for-like sales down 10.4%. UK retail profit declined by 9.8% to £75 million.
At DIY retailer B&Q, total sales fell by 8.9% to £968 million while like-for-like sales dropped 11.7%. Retail profit fell 13.8% to £65 million as sales of outdoor seasonal products, which Kingfisher said can represent up to 30% of total Q1 sales, were down around 30%. Sales of building products were also impacted by the wet weather.
Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher CEO said: "We anticipated the first quarter would be challenging, compared with last year’s strong growth which was boosted by favourable spring weather and public holidays. But an extremely wet April this year in the UK and France compounded the difficulty, adversely impacting sales of outdoor and seasonal categories."
At Screwfix total sales increased by 10.2% to £137 million while retail profit climbed 31.7% to £11 million. Kingfisher said the performance was driven by new ranges, the continued roll out of new outlets and the successful introduction of its mobile 'click, pay & collect' offer.
In France, Kingfisher saw its Castorama brand grow its sales by 1.3% to £593 million while Brico Dépôt saw total sales growth of 3.3% to £496 million.
Regarding the outlook Cheshire said: "With the first quarter typically one of the least significant of the year and with the key summer season still ahead of us, we remain confident that we are well prepared to capitalise on any improvement in conditions and deliver a solid full year result."
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