Kingfisher’s sales jump in first quarter despite poor French performance

B&Q cut prices

Kingfisher‘s first quarter sales have dropped as a slowdown in European sales takes its toll on figures.

In the three months to April 30 the B&Q owner reported a 0.6 per cent dip in group like-for-like sales.

Overall UK sales were uplifted by subsidiary Screwfix‘s 12.6 per cent rise in sales, boosting UK like-for-likes by 3.5 per cent.

However, the group‘s total sales were offset by poor performance in France where Kingfisher trades as Castorama and Brico Depot. Like-for-like sales dropped by 5.5 per cent.

Group revenues totalled £2.86 billion and the retailer‘s turnaround plan seems to be on track. Despite this, shares dropped by five per cent in this morning‘s trading.

READ MORE:  Kingfisher chairman departs amid successful turnaround results

B&Q has just completed a store closure programme in the UK, seeing 65 stores shut and around 3000 jobs slashed over the past two years. This is part of chief executive Veronique Leary‘s turnaround strategy, which includes axing old ranges and integrating a new unified IT programme.

“We have set ourselves up well for our transformation, which continues in line with our plans,” Leary said.

“Strong performance in Screwfix and Poland continues, though performance in France remains weak.”

“We remain confident in the size of the prize and our ability to deliver our long-term plan, both the financial benefits of the transformation and the benefits to customers, supported by the continued expertise and energy of our colleagues.”

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