Kingfisher has reported a 0.5% fall in group like-for-like sales for the three months to October 31. Although that was an improvement on a second quarter fall of 1.9% there was a small fall in underlying third quarter sales as a weak performance in France was only partially offset by strong growth at Screwfix in the UK and in Poland, but said it remains comfortable with full year profit forecasts.
The FTSE 100-listed firm which owns B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and elsewhere, said like-for-like sales in Britain and Ireland rose by 1.5% but in France they fell by 4.1%. The Screwfix chain continued to be the star performer in the UK with like-for-like sales up 10.2%, while B&Q sales fell 1.9%.
The group which is in the second year of a plan to boost its annual profit by £500mln from 2021, said it was comfortable with the current full-year 2017-18 consensus for underlying pretax profit of £785mln, down slightly from last year’s £787mln outcome
Chief executive Véronique Laury said: "We remain confident in our ability to deliver our long-term plan and in the financial and customer benefits it will generate. Early customer reaction to our new ranges continues to be encouraging.
“Q3 has followed a similar course to the first half. We have seen strong growth at Screwfix and Poland offset by continued weak sales in France, alongside some business disruption from our ONE Kingfisher plan, principally reflecting product availability and clearance. We continue to act on the causes of this disruption which we are confident will ease.
“We remain confident in our ability to deliver our long-term plan and in the financial and customer benefits it will generate. We recognise that the transformation plan involves a lot of change for our colleagues and appreciate their continued hard work and expertise.”