B&Q parent company Kingfisher has reported a 5.6% increase in total sales for the 13 weeks to October 31 – but B&Q UK sees 45% profit jump.
Group retail profit also rose, by an impressive 23.4% with a strong performance from B&Q UK boosting the figures. UK and Ireland sales increased by 4.4% with profit up 26.9%. However, B&Q UK outperformed the general trend, posting increases of 6.3% (5.7% in like-for-like terms) to £970m and a massive profit rise of 45.2% to £43m, "driven by higher sales volumes and continuing cost improvements". These cost-cutting measures will continue - including some job losses, which some reports put as high as 800.
Star sales performers in the period were underfloor heating - up 76%, premium kitchens - up 64%, premium worktops - up 70%, made-to-measure curtains - up 41%, bedroom - up 33% and wallpaper - up 12.5%. Bigger ticket sales in general were up 11%, which could suggest that, as well as decorative jobs, consumers are beginning to invest in their homes with bigger projects such as new kitchens again.
Group chief exec Ian Cheshire said: "This is a strong set of results with our businesses in France, Poland and B&Q UK performing well...Looking ahead, we continue to rely on our own initiatives to drive performance and deliver more value for our shareholders and continue to assume no early help from improved consumer demand."
A store revamp programme continues with one full store revamp completed in the period as well as two medium format store revamps and 49 limited revamps. B&Q UK and Ireland currently operates 119 large stores (66 in the more modern format) and 211 medium stores (184 of which have been modernised).