Kingfisher PLC has recently announced its 2019/20 year end financial results, and its Q1 and Q2 2020/2021 summary.
Sales for 2019/20 were down 0.8% in constant currency, and like for like (LFL) sales down 1.5% with growth at Screwfix, Poland and Romania offset by weaker sales at B&Q, and in France, Russia and Iberia. However, there were Improved LFL sales trend in all retail banners in Q4 19/20; LFL were up 1.7%
In terms of Q1, predictably make for grim reading, with Group LFL sales down 24.8% due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Q2 figures have bounced back remarkably, withGroup LFL sales up 21.8% (to 13 June 2020). There is also an improving Improving relative sales trend (Group LFL sales moved from -74.0% in first week of April to more than +25% since second week of May).
Commenting on the figures, Thierry Garnier, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our priorities have been clear - to provide support to the communities in which we operate, to look after our colleagues as a responsible employer, to serve our customers as a retailer of essential goods, and to protect our business for the long term.
"At Kingfisher, we are both proud of, and inspired by, the way in which our teams responded to the immense challenges of the last few months. When the various lockdowns began, we rapidly transformed our operations to meet a sharp increase in e-commerce, while adapting our retail space and processes to ensure a safe reopening of stores. In doing so, the social distancing and other health & safety protocols we established have contributed to setting the standard in non-food retailing. We have donated over £2.5 million of PPE to frontline health workers, in line with our commitment to responsible business practices. We have also taken significant actions on costs and cash management that give us a strong financial footing through the crisis and beyond.
"On joining the business in late September 2019 my priorities were to build the executive team, stabilise our operational performance and prepare a new plan. We have a strong new team in place. We ended FY 19/20 in better shape, after a disappointing first nine months, by returning the Group to positive like-for-like sales growth in Q4 as well as for the start of FY 20/21.
"While the coronavirus crisis has obviously shifted our immediate priorities, we have continued to plan for the longer term and implement our new strategic plan. It would be a mistake not to. Kingfisher is well positioned within a home improvement market that is resilient and has attractive long term growth prospects. We have strong market positions and distinctly positioned retail banners that address diverse customer needs. These are major strengths in a world that is so volatile and uncertain.
"Our clear intent is to become a more digital and service orientated company, using our strong store assets as a platform. We will continue to develop our own exclusive brands as a differentiator, cater for diverse local customer needs, and each retail banner will have its own positioning and plan. We will 'power' these banners as a Group. This is our new strategic direction, 'Powered by Kingfisher'.
"The coronavirus crisis has provided us with the most unexpected test of these plans, while really pushing our capabilities as a business. The results have reinforced our strategic direction, demonstrated how our operations and teams can be agile, and pushed us to be bolder. Together, we look to the future with confidence and are committed to returning Kingfisher to growth."