Home and DIY retail group Kingfisher has today reported a six per cent fall in retail profit in its third quarter as sales fell across its UK and European operations.
In a continuing challenging market, total sales in the UK & Ireland fell 0.7 per cent to £1.05 billion in the 13 weeks ended October 27th 2012 while like-for-like (LFL) sales declined 3.8 per cent.
B&Q, owned by the company, also suffered a sales drop over the period, with total sales decreasing to £906 million, down 2.3 per cent on a year previously as LFLs fell four per cent.
While Kingfisher said that these results “reflected the generally weak consumer backdrop in the UK and a particularly challenging environment in Ireland, it reported that retail profit grew by 1.7 per cent over the quarter to £45 million.
Meanwhile, its Screwfix operations saw total sales soar 10.9 per cent to £149 million as a result of its move to roll out new outlets while improving its customer offer through a redesigned catalogue and implanting a successful ‘click, pay & collect’ service.
During the quarter, Screwfix opened a dozen new outlets, taking its total to 252 and helping push its retail profit up 19.8 per cent to £14 million.
Internationally, its French operations including Castorama and Brico Depot, saw LFLs decline 2.8 per cent while retail profit decreased 9.2 per cent on last year though across its other international markets including Poland, China, Spain and Russia, LFL rose 0.8 per cent.
Ian Cheshire, Group CEO of Kingfisher, said that the results should be applauded given the increasingly difficult market.
“Following a particularly tough first half, I am pleased that our teams’ hard work has delivered a solid profit performance in our third quarter, one of our most significant trading periods in the year,” he said.
“Our markets remain challenging, with consumer confidence still weak and so we maintain our strong focus on margin, costs and cash.
“Kingfisher is in good shape and I remain enthusiastic about our longer-term prospects under our new ‘Creating the Leader’ programme which will establish us as a world class retailer at helping customers have better and more sustainable homes.”