B&Q owner reports fall in sales during second quarter

B&Q owner reports fall in sales during second quarter

Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvement retailer, blamed the weather for falling sales in the United Kingdom as it continued to be dragged back by its business in France.

The business, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, said the poor sales were mainly due to a slowdown at B&Q, poor sales in France and the disruption from restructuring plans.

Screwfix was once again the standout performer, seeing a total sales jump of 17.2 per cent to £365 million and a like-for-like boost of 10.8 per cent, although this was not enough to offset wider decline.

The FTSE 100 got off to a slow start this morning, while the big news of the day came from Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q. The company hopes the transformations will lead to £500 million more in profit each year by 2021. "We continue to adapt new processes as our transformation progresses, which will support the significant amount of change planned for second half", said Chief Executive Officer Veronique Laury.

The worldwide DIY group blamed the dip in sales at B&Q on "seasonal swings", essentially bad weather, in the first half of the year.

"We have also continued to experience some disruption across the businesses, although on an improving trend".

Kingfisher said it was comfortable with analysts' average forecast of underlying earnings per share of 26p for the full 2017-18 year.

"A silver lining of sorts is that it looks like Kingfisher isn't alone in having difficulties in the UK".

In Ireland and the United Kingdom total sales declined by 1pc like-for-like reflecting the continued strong Screwfix performance and the modest price inflation, however gains from the performance of Screwfix and the price inflation were offset by the decline in B&Q sales.