Kingfisher looks for new boss after 53% crash in pre-tax profits

Kingfisher looks for new boss after 53% crash in pre-tax profits

Kingfisher half year profits drop, shares down

DIY group Kingfisher (LON:KGF) posted a 53% crash in pre-tax profits on Wednesday and is searching for a new CEO.

The owner of B&Q announced that pre-tax profits for the year ended 31 January 2019 were £322 million. This is a 53% slide compared to the £682 million figure from the year prior.

Profits were damaged by the company’s Castorama France brand, in addition to losses in Russia and Romania. Kingfisher was also hit by a £111 million charge relating to impairments for its underperforming stores.

Headquartered in London, the group is the largest home improvement retailer in Europe, and the third largest globally.

“During this year, the UK, Poland and Brico Dépôt France performed well, leveraging the benefits of our transformation. However, Castorama France has been disappointing and we are implementing a clear plan to sustainably improve its performance,” Chief Executive Officer Veronique Laury commented in a statement.

The company has made the underperformance of Castorama France a clear priority to be addressed over the next year. It has also said that it is considering the closure of 15 poor performing stores across the business over the next two years, in addition to closing 19 Screwfix Germany outlets.

The group announced at the end of last year that its sales had risen despite the “difficult retail environment”. Sales rose 1.4% during the quarter as it operated in a “difficult retail environment”. It also announced plans to exit smaller markets in Russia, Spain and Portugal

Additionally, Kingfisher said it has begun searching for a new boss. Chief Executive Officer Veronique Laury full supports her departure and will continue in her position until an official departure date is set.

Veronique Laury has been in the role since December 2014. When she departs, there will only be five other female chief executives in the FTSE 100.

Shares in Kingfisher plc (LON:KGF) were trading at -1.51% as of 10:14 GMY Wednesday.