Published on 16 - February - 2012
B&Q sales rise 0.2% in fourth quarter“We have ended another challenging year in robust shape,” says group CEO Ian Cheshire.
B&Q's UK and Ireland sales in the 13 weeks to January 28 rose by 0.2% to £837m, continuing to benefit from the closure of Focus DIY last year. Sales of outdoor products were up around 6% in the milder weather, while indoor product sales were down around 5% reflecting the generally weak consumer backdrop. But the underlying trend reflects continued weakness in the market, with like-for-like sales down 2.5%.
Screwfix sales grew 10.3% to £131m (up 2.2% LFL) boosted by new ranges, the addition of specialist plumbers and electricians trade desks in existing outlets, and the continued roll-out of new outlets. Total sales in the UK & Ireland were £968m, up 1.5% overall, but down 1.9% LFL.
In France, Castorama and Brico Dépôt made sales of £938m in Q4, up 5.7% overall and up 4.2% LFL, helped by new ranges, store modernisation, a pick-up in new housing starts and planning consents. In Poland total sales increased by 3.5% to £212m (down 1.9% LFL), and in Russia sales grew by 35.4% to £86m (up 13.2% LFL) reflecting new store openings. In Spain, Brico Dépôt sales declined slightly by 1.8% to £45m (down 1.9% LFL), and B&Q China sales fell 3.9% (down 2.6% LFL) to £106m, reflecting a challenging housing market.
Worldwide Kingfisher's total Q4 sales were up 2.2%, (0.9% LFL), and the company expects full-year adjusted profit to be up around 20%, in line with current analyst estimates of £799m. "We have ended another challenging year in robust shape," said group CEO Ian Cheshire. "Looking ahead the global economic outlook is uncertain, and so we will remain focused on self-help measures to trade the business effectively, whatever the market conditions." Full-year results will be announced on March 22.
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