Sales at Kingfisher rose 1.4% in the latest quarter.

The group said that sales were healthy at Screwfix, where the retailer posted an increase in sales by 10.6% to £442 million.

Sales at B&Q, however, were not as strong and fell 2.8% to £850 million.

Véronique Laury, who is the chief executive of Kingfisher, said: “We are operating in a difficult retail environment. We face challenges and we are addressing them.”

“We have accelerated our move to an everyday low price strategy and have launched a new marketing campaign to make it visible to our customers, however, there is no quick fix,” she added.

The group said on Wednesday that it plans to exit the smaller markets in Russia, Spain and Portugal. 

“We are committed to our plan and to building a strong business for the long-term. As part of this commitment, we have taken the decision to exit Russia, Spain and Portugal,” said Laury.

“This will allow us to apply our strategy with more focus and efficiency in our main markets.”

The investment director at Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service, Tom Stevenson, said on the Kingfisher results: “More grim news from Kingfisher. The DIY chain’s five-year plan to simplify its sprawling European operations took a new turn today when under-pressure chief executive Veronique Laury said Kingfisher was pulling out of Russia, Spain and Portugal.”

“Third quarter results were dragged down as usual by its French retail arm, Castorama. But B&Q also chipped in a negative like-for-like sales contribution this time in the UK. The excellent Screwfix trade business increasingly looks like the jewel in an otherwise tarnished crown,” he added.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor, added: “Kingfisher’s transformation is a work in progress and it may be some time before the benefits are fully felt. The shares have not responded well to recent updates, and over the last year have dipped 19%, as compared to a 6.2% decline for the wider FTSE 100.”

Shares in the group (LON: KGF) are trading -2.48% (0857GMT).

 

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Safiya Bashir
Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.