Kingfisher’s Screwfix chain offsets weak B&Q sales

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Kingfisher Screwfix B&Q

Kingfisher has said it remains on track to meet full-year targets as inflation and strong growth at its Screwfix fascia helped offset falling sales at B&Q.

The home & DIY retailer recorded a three per cent rise in total sales to £3 billion for its third quarter ending October 31, and while there was a 0.5 per cent fall in group like-for-like sales, this was an improvement on a second quarter fall of 1.9 per cent.

Kingfisher’s performance was boosted by a 16.6 per cent jump in Screwfix revenues, which also drove a 2.5 per cent increase in sales across its UK & Ireland market.

Like-for-likes at Screwfix also jumped 10.2 per cent.

However, sales at stablemate B&Q lagged behind, with revenue falling 2.8 per cent in the UK & Ireland, and dropping 1.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis due to a store closure scheme.

Poland was a bright spot across Kingfisher’s international markets, with sales rising 11.9 per cent year-on-year to £379 million.

It offset some of the weak growth suffered by Kingfisher’s French market, which operates through the Castorama and Brico Depot brands, where it only managed to record a 0.4 per cent rise in sales in the third quarter.

Chief executive Veronique Laury said trading was following a “similar course” to the first half of Kingfisher’s fiscal year and assured that the company was still on track to achieve its annual targets.

“We have seen strong growth at Screwfix and Poland offset by continued weak sales in France, alongside some business disruption from our ONE Kingfisher plan, principally reflecting product availability and clearance,” she said.

“We continue to act on the causes of this disruption, which we are confident will ease.”

She added: “We remain on track to deliver our full-year strategic milestones for the second year in a row.

“With plans in place to support our overall performance, we remain comfortable with full-year profit expectations.”

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