Like-for-like sales fall at Kingfisher as group battles tough fourth quarter
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, saw its fourth quarter like-for-like sales fall by 5.8% in the UK and Ireland as the group struggled against poor weather and weak consumer confidence.
In the 14 weeks to 2 February 2013, total sales in the UK and Ireland rose by 2.9% to £997 million compared to the 13 week period last year. However, on a comparable 13 week basis sales were down 4.2%.
Group like-for like sales fell 3.4% in the 14 week period. Total group sales increased 1.5% to £2.39 billion but fell 1% on a comparable 13 week basis.
Like-for-like sales at DIY chain B&Q declined by 6.4%. Total sales for the 14 weeks were £842 million, down 6.4% on a comparable 13 week basis. Kingfisher said this was a reflection of a weak consumer backdrop in the UK and a "particularly challenging" environment in Ireland where its nine stores are now subject to an Examinership process.
Screwfix total sales for the 14 weeks were £155 million, up 10.3% on a comparable 13 week basis, benefiting from the continued roll out of new outlets and the success of the retailer's 'click, pay & collect' scheme.
The group said it expects full year adjusted profit before tax to be in line with the consensus of analyst expectations.
Chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "We have had a tough fourth quarter, ending what has been a tough year impacted by unfavourable foreign exchange, particularly poor weather in the UK and weaker consumer confidence in our major markets.
"We end the year in good shape with a strong balance sheet and higher market share. Looking ahead we will continue to actively manage the business in these challenging markets with particular focus on improving our customer offer and optimising our cash generation."
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