Last month, B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher issued an underwhelming second-quarter trading update, which has caused speculation as to whether the first half update will provide news of lower profits due to the wetter weather during the Summer period. The international DIY group attributed a 7.8% fall in total sales at B&Q to poor weather dampening its seasonal trade against tough comparatives.
Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst George Salmon said: “Kingfisher were at pains to point out its second quarter was impacted by seasonal swings, but the declines were sufficient to ensure like-for-like sales at B&Q joined the French divisions Castorama and Brico Depot in negative territory.
“This underwhelming Q2 update followed an unspectacular first quarter, meaning aggregate half year numbers are unlikely to bring much joy for investors this time.”
Screwfix has been the stand-out performer for Kingfisher, regularly clocking up double-digit sales increases. In March, Kingfisher signalled it had finished a B&Q store closure programme, which has seen it shut 65 shops and slash around 3,000 jobs in the UK and Ireland over the last two years.
Kingfisher chief executive Ms Laury is aiming to boost profits by £500 million a year by 2021 as a turnaround effort.
DIYWeek.net will report on the Half Year Results when Kingfisher releases them tomorrow morning.