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Kingfisher chairman predicts soft demand in the coming months

Published: 29 November 2007
B&Q's retail profits fall 12% as international businesses grow by 4%.
Kingfisher chairman predicts soft demand in the coming months
Kingfisher has reported a fall in retail profits in a third quarter trading update for the 13 weeks ended November 3, 2007.

Group chairman Peter Jackson said profits fell from £173m to £171m, a dip of 0.8% before saying demand in the UK will weaken in the coming months.

He praised the strong contribution from the international division, which saw sales rise 10.8% to £1.32bn.

Kingfisher trades from 775 stores in 10 countries in Europe and Asia.

Mr Jackson said: "In aggregate, our international businesses, which account for more than half of Kingfisher's sales, again delivered positive sales and profit growth driven by particularly good performances in France and Poland."

Sales in France rose 5.6% to £856.1m; 2.3% on a like-for-like basis. In Poland sales were up 24.5% to £194.1m (up 18.3% on a like-for-like basis).

In the UK sales were up 0.8% to £961.9m (0.2% lower on a like-for-like basis). Retail profit fell 12% in the quarter from £51.4m a year ago to £45.3m.

Kingfisher said profits fell because of higher revamp activity and an 'accelerated pace of range renewal'.

The group said that B&Q intends to continue developing its diy and do-it-for-me propositions.

"B&Q's renewal is progressing well, with the new ranges and revamped stores showing that a compelling offer in the right store environment will continue to attract customers," Peter Jackson said.

During the quarter B&Q revamped eight large stores, and introduced new decorative ranges.

Trade business, Screwfix grew sales 28.1% to £117.1m from increased customer numbers, and higher average order values compared to last year, Kingfisher said.

  • For more on Kingfisher's third quarter results, and B&Q's development, read next week's DIY Week – out Friday December 7.
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