International retail group Kingfisher, owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has today reported a 14.7 per cent rise in retail profit for its full-year period.
During the 12 months to January 29th 2011 sales fell 0.9 per cent year-on-year on a like-for-like basis but the group managed to increase adjusted per-tax profit by 22.5 per cent through self-help initiatives.
UK & Ireland profits jumped 11.8 per cent to £243 million, as the B&Q and Screwfix business successfully increased margins and cut cost to counteract sluggish sales.
Fourth quarter trading published in February revealed that B&Q sales had fallen 0.3 per cent LFL in the final 13 weeks of Kingfisher’s financial year, however Screwfix trading rose 2.6 per cent LFL during the same period.
LFL sales in the UK were much worse in Q3 though, dropping 4.2 per cent, and first-half domestic trading also decreased so both margins and sales have improved over the year.
Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher CEO, said: “Despite significant economic headwinds over the last few years we are now a stronger, more valuable business.
“I am also delighted that we are now better able to accelerate our expansion where economic returns have been proven whilst also significantly increasing our dividend for our shareholders, many of whom are now our own colleagues.”
Full-year dividend increased 43.9 per cent compared to last year at 5.145p per share, with profit before tax totalling £671 million up 18.6 per cent.
Although the trading environment for all retailers looks tough right now, Cheshire insists that he remains “excited by our future prospects”.
“This year we will be stepping up the pace once more with a full set of activities in the final year of the first phase of ‘Delivering Value’ as well as mobilising the second phase, which is due to start in 2012,” Cheshire added.
“I believe we have an exciting growth opportunity, sustainable over the longer term, by creating a business that is the world’s expert at making home improvement easier for customers.
“We are uniquely placed to use our scale, our network of international experience and our diversity for the benefit of our customers and shareholders.”