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Kingfisher constructs solid first quarter


Strong performance in the UK and Poland helped boost profits for Kingfisher in the first quarter of this year.

The quarter ending 30 April saw a 3.6% jump in overall sales for Kingfisher. There were regional spikes that contributed to this, including a 6.2% spike in the UK & Ireland, which includes Screwfix, and a 10.8% leap in like-for-like sales in Poland.

Overall B&Q saw a 3.6% uplift in like=-for-like sales, though total sales fell by 4.3% on a constant currency basis, reaching £951m. Screwfix, on the other hand, enjoyed a 16.2% increase in like-for-likes, with total sales riding 23.5% to £301m in constant currencies.

“We have made a solid start to the year, trading in line with expectations,” said Chief Executive at Kingfisher Veronique Laury.

“in addition, I am pleased with the early progress we are making on our operational milestones for this year, the first of our ambitions five-year plan.”

This “five-year plan” has this quarter included the installation of a united IT platform in all B&Q outlets, which was done ahead of schedule. Kingfisher also continues to close 15% of surplus B&Q stores. A total of 10 were closed in the quarter, bringing the total to 40 out of the goal of 65.

“We continue to feel confident in our ability to deliver our plan, based on putting customer needs first, supported by the expertise and enthusiasm of our colleagues.”

“Despite unhelpful weather in Q1 that reduced LFL sales of seasonal ranges in the UK and France, Kingfisher remains on track to meet full year expectations,” commented David Stoddart, Analyst at Edison Investment Research.

“In its first half-year, it is a little early to be judging the returns from the five-year ‘One Kingfisher’ strategy but management is pleased with progress so far.”

Published on Tuesday 24 May by Philip Gallagher

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