Kingfisher, owner of home & DIY retailers B&Q and Screwfix, has today published an eight step forward-looking strategy plan while reporting a 20 per cent rise in full-year adjusted pre-tax profits.
Much of the profits growth was thanks to strong sales and improved margins at its French-based businesses Castorama and Brico DÃ©pÃ´t, but UK retail profit also saw strong growth of 11.6 per cent to £271 million for the 12 months ending January 28th 2012.
In terms of like-for-like trading over the period B&Q posted a decline of 1.8 per cent and Screwfix managed a rise of just 1.9 per cent year-on-year, however both operations managed double-digit increases in retail profit thanks to improving gross margins.
Ian Cheshire, CEO of Kingfisher, commented: “I am pleased we have delivered another year of strong profit growth, our third such year in a row. In what remain challenging times for our customers, these results are testament to the dedication of our talented colleagues around the world.
“Our relentless focus on the self-help initiatives that formed our four year ‘Delivering Value‘ programme has borne fruit, generating a significant increase in the value of our business for shareholders.”
B&Q reopened the 27 stores it had purchased from the administrator of Focus DIY during the second half of the year, at a capital cost of around £15 million, while Screwfix trialled a new smaller format in H1 and subsequently launched 42 of these new outlets and 11 larger units during the year.
The group‘s full-year dividend rose 25 per cent and basic earnings per share jumped 31 per cent to 27.5p over the 12 months.
Looking forward, Kingfisher has set-out more details of its ‘Creating the Leader‘ strategy, which focuses on improving products & stores, improving multichannel, becoming more efficient & environmentally sustainable, growing in existing & new markets, and investing in staff development.
“Today we are embarking on the next phase of this journey. Our ‘Creating the Leader‘ programme will see us emerge as a world-class retailer, helping customers have better, more sustainable homes.
“Whilst the immediate economic outlook remains uncertain, we face the future in robust shape and with our successful self-help approach now embedded in the way we do business.”