B&Q owner Kingfisher (LON:KGF) saw shares sink over 6 percent at market open on Wednesday, after it warned that the UK market looked more uncertain going forward.
The warning came despite the group beating forecasts and reporting a 1.3 percent rise in annual profit, with like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland growing by 0.6 percent to £5 billion. Sales in France, where the group owns the Castorama and Brico Depot chains, fell by 3.5 percent to £4.39 billion.
Total sales in B&Q fell by 5.3 percent to £3.49 billion due to store closures, with sales at Screwfix performing better and rising 10.1 percent to £1.56 billion after strong growth from the “specialist trade desks exclusive to plumbers and electricians, strong digital growth and continued roll out of new outlets. ”
Kingfisher raised its full-year dividend by 4 percent to 10.8p per share from 10.4p
The effective tax rate (ETR) rose 30 percent for the year, up from 26 percent after a French tax surcharge of approximately £20m.
In a statement, the firm commented on its outlook going forward:
“In the UK it is more uncertain, and in the fourth quarter both B&Q and Screwfix experienced softer sales. In France, we are encouraged by the market backdrop although it is volatile, whilst in Poland the market remains supportive.”
Kingfisher shares are currently trading down 6.43 percent at 316.00 (0813GMT).