// Kingfisher posts sales rise, boosted by store reopenings
// Group like-for-like sales rose 21.6% in the 3 months to July 18
// During the wider 6-month period, like-for-like sales dropped 3.7%
B&Q and Screwfix parent company Kingfisher has seen an increase in second quarter sales thanks to “strong demand” across its EU markets and online.
Group like-for-like sales jumped 21.6 per cent in the three months to July 18.
The DIY giant said the sales increase came as a result of store reopenings in the UK and France, as well as a “strong” online growth.
However, during the wider six-month period, Kingfisher’s like-for-like sales dropped by 3.7 per cent.
Despite the decline in first-half sales, and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Kingfisher said it expected interim profits to be ahead of last year’s figure.
In May, like-for-like sales grew 14.3 per cent, with UK and Ireland sales slightly ahead with a 15.5 per cent rise.
June saw overall group sales increase further – by 25.1 per cent – as lockdown restrictions started to ease.
UK and Ireland sales for the month grew 25.9 per cent.
Kingfisher’s UK stores, as well as those in France, were closed from mid-March due to coronavirus lockdowns in both countries.
However, it made click-and-collect and home delivery options available, and online sales surged 202.1 per cent in May and 225.2 per cent in June.
Stores gradually started to reopen in late April.
Kingfisher said it would not provide guidance for the second half of the year due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
“Based on the strong sales seen to date in the second quarter, combined with cost reductions benefiting H1 (some of which are non-recurring), the company anticipates its half year adjusted pre-tax profit to be ahead of prior year,” Kingfisher said.
“Second half visibility remains low given uncertainty around Covid-19 and the wider economic outlook.
“As such, no specific financial guidance is provided for the full year 2020/2021,” the company said in a statement.”