B&Q and Screwfix's parent company reported sales up 3.7% in current currencies, but down 0.4% like-for-like for the 10 weeks to July 7, 2012.
UK and Ireland sales were up 5% in total, a LfL boost of 1.1% for the quarter. B&Q's total sales rose by 4.9%, up 1.6% LfL, but the group said gross margin was expected to be down for the trading period. This, it said, was reflective of "the markdowns needed to clear horticultural stocks, additional promotions to stimulate activity, and the decision to accelerate range clearance all into Q2 ahead of the national roll out of a new, common tiling range."
Screwfix continued its positive streak
, with sales up 7.2%, driven by new ranges and the continued roll out of new outlets.
Kingfisher's French offering showed sales down 0.6% overall, -2.3% LfL. Castorama sales were up 2.5% but down 0.2% like-for-like. Brico Depot saw sales fall by 4.5% in total and 4.8% LfL. Kingfisher blamed "different trading patterns this year in the run up to July public holidays."
Kingfisher's group chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "The unprecedented wet weather across Northern Europe has continued throughout our second quarter so far, clearly impacting footfall and consumer demand for outdoor and seasonal products. However, additional marketing and promotional activity helped encourage customers to switch some of their activity to internal repairs and projects, partially offsetting the weather related weakness, particularly in the UK. We also took the necessary promotional action to clear horticultural stocks.
"Whilst these exceptional weather patterns have impacted us in the short term we continued to progress with the key steps of our 'Creating the Leader' programme of self-help, including accelerating the introduction of new, common ranges in the quarter. I remain confident that this programme will see us emerge as a world class retailer at helping our customers have better, more sustainable homes."