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Kingfisher shares rise on strong online trading

Kingfisher was a top riser on this morning’s FTSE 100, as the group posted a boom in online sales for the fourth quarter.

In a trading update, the group said its full-year profits are likely to be at the upper end of expectations. Profits are expected to be around £667m-£742m for this year.

Sales over Q4 increased by 12.6% amid the lockdown, where the retailer stores are still open for click and collect.

Overall, Q4 20/21 Kingfisher sales are up 16.9%, supported by ecommerce sales growth of over 150%.

Chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “The safety of our customers and teams remains our first priority while we fulfil the essential
needs of our customers. We will continue to support our colleagues during these most difficult times, and I want to express my sincere appreciation for all our teams as they continue to operate in such a challenging environment.

“While the strength of our Q4 trading, to date, is reassuring, uncertainty over COVID-19 and the impact of lockdown restrictions in most of our markets continue to limit our visibility. Longer term, we are confident that the strategic and operational actions we are taking are building a strong foundation for sustainable long-term growth. We also believe that the renewed focus on homes is supportive for our markets.

Richard Chamberlain, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said: “The outlook for home improvement has improved, with people spending more time at home, more wear and tear, and people looking to save money doing DIY. We also think Kingfisher’s new management team has introduced a more effective trading strategy, with a stronger digital offer, lower inventory and better cost control.”

In December, Kingfisher confirmed plans to return £130m it received in business rates relief.

Kingfisher shares (LON: KGF) are trading 2.11% higher at 285,40 (0831GMT).

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