Kingfisher half year profits drop, shares down

Kingfisher published a trading update on Wednesday, sending shares downwards on the back of a mixed set of figures.

Sales in the UK and Republic of Ireland rose 5% to £1.3 billion during the three months to 30 April, with like-for-like sales up 3.4%.

This was on the back of a strong performance at B&Q and its Screwfix stores.

However, investors were less impressed with performance in France, with total sales down 3.4%, and 3.7% on a like-for-like basis.

Sales at Castorama fell 2.4% during the period, down 2.4% on a like-for-like basis.

Kingfisher said that a positive start to the year was ultimately offset by
transformation-related activity in the region.

Similarly, sales at Brico Dépôt were down 4.5%, and a further 5.1% on a like-for-like basis, in large part due to low margins as a result of promotion activity.

Véronique Laury, Kingfisher’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the quarter:

“The Group delivered positive sales growth in the first quarter, with sales of unified and unique ranges continuing to grow ahead of non-unified ranges. Screwfix, Poland and Romania delivered good sales growth while our performance in France was mixed within the quarter.

“This year we are focused on completing the building of our ‘engine’ and making our innovation more visible to customers. Our new outdoor range was rolled out to all markets in the quarter alongside a globally coordinated marketing campaign. We are also excited to be launching several new ranges this year which are unique to us and will further differentiate us from our competitors, including surfaces & décor and bathrooms across the Group, and kitchens in B&Q. In addition, we are piloting a new convenience store concept which we look forward to demonstrating at today’s Kingfisher Innovation Day.

“At this early stage of the year our expectations for the full year are unchanged, and we remain confident in our ability to deliver significant financial benefits over time.”

Shares in the FTSE 100 company (LON:KGF) are currently trading down -2.61% as of 11:59AM (GMT).