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B&Q owner reports fall in sales during second quarter

17 Août 2017

Kingfisher (KGFHF) slumped in early trading after the home improvement and DIY retailer missed analysts' growth consensus by a wide margin, with like-for-like sales in the quarter to July 31 down in the key U.K. French, Spanish and Russian markets.

As well as weakness in the French market, the firm said it's dealing with disruption from its restructuring plan, and it didn't have the luck of good weather to boost sales, as it benefited from this time past year.

Kingfisher also pinned the fall on tough comparatives from a year ago and a strong first quarter in 2017, when better weather meant shoppers bought seasonal products early.

Like-for-like sales dropped 1.9 per cent to £3.1bn, which it blamed on seasonal performance at B&Q down 11 per cent.

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Kingfisher also saw sales slip in France, where it trades as Castorama and Brico Depot and where the housing market has also stuttered.

Overall sales at Kingfisher, whose divisions include Screwfix in the United Kingdom and Brico Dépôt in France, declined by 1.9pc to £3.1bn on a like-for-like basis in the three months to 31 July when compared with 31 July 2016. It reflected a 10.7% dip in the sales of seasonal goods such as barbecues and garden furniture, after a strong first quarter boosted by better weather. "We have also continued to experience some disruption across the businesses, although on an improving trend", said Chief Executive Véronique Laury.

Like-for-like sales at Kingfisher's Screwfix outlet rose 10.8 percent.

"Having been very aware that this year would be challenging given the step up in transformation activity, we already have self-help plans in place to support our overall Year 2 performance", she said in reference to cost savings. It said the poor performance would continue in the short term as Bunnings restructured the business.

B&Q owner reports fall in sales during second quarter