B&Q owner sees 15% fall in HY profit

B&Q owner Kingfisher this morning revealed a 15 per cent fall in half year profits after its “difficult” French business dragged down results.

The largest home improvement retailer in Europe, which operates B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama in France, said underlying pretax profit in the six months to July 31 came in at £375 million, down from £440 million for the same period a year before.

Comparable sales were flat at £6,08 million, while retail profit fell 13.5 per cent from £467 million the year before to £404 million.

While the UK and Poland delivered “solid” performances, these gains were “offset by significant weakness in France”.

Kingfisher noted that it is currently at its halfway point of a five year transformation plan, and “continuing to deliver on strategic milestones”.

“Transformation on this scale is tough, and there are challenges that we’re working through”, Kingfisher chief executive Véronique Laury said in light of Wednesday’s results.

“There is still much to do to improve our performance in France and to remove inefficiencies within the
business as we continue to transform at pace. I am confident that we have the right plan and the
opportunity for Kingfisher is significant.”

“Our H1 results reflect a solid performance in the UK and Poland whilst France remains difficult. Looking to the full year we remain on track to deliver our strategic milestones for the third year in a row and have put actions in place to support our performance. The outlook for our main markets continues to be mixed.”

“We firmly believe in the transformation plan benefits and maintain our ambition. The environment is making our task more difficult than expected and we will always take the right decisions for the company in the long-term,” Laury added.

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