Kingfisher’s results for the second quarter revealed like-for-like sales up 10.8% at Screwfix, boosted by new stores and digital capabilities, while B&Q revenues were impacted by store closures and a dip in seasonal sales.
Total sales for Kingfisher UK & Ireland operations were down 2.1% (-1% on a like-for-like basis), reflecting continued strong Screwfix performance and modest price inflation offset by “a softer B&Q performance”, said the retail giant.
Screwfix reported a 17.2% jump in total sales for the trading period, with like-for-like revenue up nearly 11%, driven by its digital capability, new outlets and the introduction of new and extended specialist product ranges.
B&Q, meanwhile , saw revenue drop 7.8%, reflecting the annualisation of its completed store closure programme. Like-for-like (LFL) sales were down 4.7%, which included some benefit from sales transference associated with store closures (Kingfisher has given a guidance of around 1% sales transference for the financial year)..
Seasonal sales took a tumble during the quarter, down 10.7%, against a strong comparative period last year and also affected by the positive impact of the weather on Q1 this year, when B&Q reported a 17.5% increase in the category. LFL sale of non-seasonal, including showroom were down 1.6%.
It means that total sales for B&Q UK & Ireland during the first half are down 6.3% in constant currency, while Screwfix has seen an uplift of nearly 19%.
Kingfisher’s French operations have also seen declines, with total sales down 3.3% (LFL -3.8%). Castorama reported sales of -2.3% (LFL -2.8%), whilst LFL seasonal sales also fell 6%. The business saw similar LFL declines as B&Q in non-seasonal, including showroom, down 1.3%. Brico Dépôt reported sales of -4.5% (LFL -5.1%).
Kingfisher CEO Véronique Laury said of the results: “Q2 has broadly followed a similar course to Q1 although B&Q's performance was impacted by seasonal swings across Q1 and Q2. We have also continued to experience some disruption across the businesses, although on an improving trend. Availability of this year’s unified and unique product is now approaching normal levels. We continue to adapt new processes as our transformation progresses, which will support the significant amount of change planned for H2.
"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, though we remain cautious on the H2 outlook for the UK and France as previously guided. We remain on track to deliver our Year 2 strategic milestones, and look forward to updating you on our wider progress in more detail at our H1 results."
Kingfisher's Q2 trading update comes as Bunnings reports on its first full year of trading since its acquisition of Homebase.