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Kingfisher sees sales uplift but international business struggles

Published: 15 May 2019 - Kiran Grewal

Owner of DIY giant B&Q, and Screwfix, Kingfisher plc reported an increase of sales for the its first quarter ended 30 April 2019 with total sales for UK and Ireland +5.0%, with like-for-like sales having increased by 3.4%. B&Q UK & Ireland sales grew by 2.8% and LFL increased by the same amount, reflecting stronger weather-related performance benefiting LFL by +c. 6%, partly offset as expected by c. 2% to which Kingfisher has said is an impact from discontinuation of showroom installation services. Screwfix sales were up 9.6% with  LFL at +4.5% with four new outlets opened in the UK during Q1.

On April 26 2019, the new GoodHome by B&Q store opened at 31 – 35 Stafford Road, Wallington offering a new simpler way of shopping for home improvement projects. Kingfisher describe the store as fresh, modern and a local store that offers much more than just home improvement products; it has a team of skilled colleagues offering expert help instore; an effortless digital shopping experience designed to make improving our homes easier; and inspiration and information to help plan home improvement projects. It will also have a dedicated counter for professional tradespeople.

However in France sales dipped by -3.4% with LFL sales at -3.7%. Castorama sales -2.4%. LFL -2.4% reflecting a positive start to the year, but this was offset by transformation-related activity. Brico Dépôt sales dropped to -4.5% and LFL -5.1%, reported as largely reflecting the proactive reduction of low margin special promotional activity.

Total sales in Poland increased by +7.4% and LFL +6.2%, reflecting the continued good performance of unified and unique ranges, and despite the loss of one further Sunday of trading per month. Total sales in Romania +10.1%. LFL +24.6% reflecting strong performance of unified & unique ranges. The Group has said the integration of Praktiker is progressing well with all stores now rebranded as Brico Dépôt.

Chief executive officer of Kingfisher plc, Véronique Laury, said: "The Group delivered positive sales growth in the first quarter, with sales of unified and unique ranges continuing to grow ahead of non-unified ranges. Screwfix, Poland and Romania delivered good sales growth while our performance in France was mixed within the quarter.

"This year we are focused on completing the building of our ‘engine’ and making our innovation more visible to customers. Our new outdoor range was rolled out to all markets in the quarter alongside a globally coordinated marketing campaign. We are also excited to be launching several new ranges this year which are unique to us and will further differentiate us from our competitors, including surfaces & décor and bathrooms across the Group, and kitchens in B&Q. In addition, we are piloting a new convenience store concept which we look forward to demonstrating at today’s Kingfisher Innovation Day.

"At this early stage of the year our expectations for the full year are unchanged, and we remain confident in our ability to deliver significant financial benefits over time."

An announcement from the group in March confirmed that CEO Véronique Laury will step down from her position and the Board will ensure a "orderly transition". A departure date has not yet been decided, but the succession process has commenced immediately, the group has said.

Read more about the Kingfisher Innovation Day in the upcoming DIY Week 24 May Issue.

 

 

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