Kingfisher’s outgoing CEO struggles to offload Russian & Iberian sites

Kingfisher CEO Véronique Laury B&Q Screwfix Thierry Garnier Carrefour
Véronique Laury will be succeeded by Carrefour exec Thierry Garnier
// Kingfisher CEO Véronique Laury is attempting to sell Russian & Iberian sites before her departure
// Laury is due to step down on September 24
// She has faced increasing pressure despite her efforts of a 5-year transformation plan

Kingfisher chief executive Véronique Laury has said the B&Q and Screwfix owner is struggling to sell its Russian and Iberian arm of the business.

Laury, who is due to step down on September 24, is attempting to offload the division before her departure.

She will be succeeded by Carrefour executive Thierry Garnier.

Kingfisher said last November it would exit from Russia, Portugal and Spain to concentrate on its British, French and Polish markets.

However, progress has been slow and no update is expected when it reports half-year results on Wednesday.

“It has proved a lot more tricky than they expected,” one source told The Financial Times.

Kingfisher has 28 Brico Dépôt stores in Spain, three in Portugal and 20 Castorama outlets in Russia, compared with 520 big-box stores across the UK and France.

Meanwhile, analysts forecast Kingfisher to report a 3.8 per cent decline in same-store sales at its French operations at its half-year results on September 18, according to company-compiled consensus estimates – almost twice the expected sales decline at B&Q, the group’s main UK and Ireland format.

In May, it was reported that Laury saw her total pay package jump to £1.8 million thanks to a salary hike and significant bonuses despite declining profits.

The salary package came amid a torrid year for the home and DIY retailer, with full-year figures in March indicating a 52.8 per cent plunge in annual pre-tax profits to £322 million.

Laury has faced increasing pressure despite her efforts of carrying out a five-year transformation plan, which was launched in 2016.

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