Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Screwfix boosts Kingfisher's profits

Kingfisher, the B&Q and Screwfix owner, has reported sharply higher profits, boosted by resilient sales in the UK and a weaker pound.

Pre-tax profits rose 48% to £759m for the year to 31 January, from £512m.

However, chief executive Veronique Laury warned of future uncertainty caused by Brexit and the French presidential elections.

The cautious outlook sent Kingfisher shares down almost 5%, making it the biggest faller on the FTSE 100.

The DIY retailer also trades as Castorama and Brico Depot in France, where sales were much weaker.
Despite the rise in profits, Ms Laury warned: "Looking forward, the EU referendum has created uncertainty for the UK economic outlook and we remain cautious on the outlook for France, especially in light of the forthcoming presidential elections."

Under her management, the retailer is undergoing a five-year restructuring programme designed to close unprofitable shops, improve technology and unify products.

The group said it had finished its B&Q store closure programme, which has seen it shut 65 shops and cut about 3,000 jobs in the UK and Ireland.

UK like-for-like sales rose 5.9% following strong demand at Screwfix.

Total B&Q sales fell 3.3% after its store closure programme.

Total adjusted sales rose 8.7% to £11bn.

BBC     News.