Kingfisher profits surge as Brits lean towards DIY post-lockdown

Kingfisher trading update B&Q Screwfix Thierry Garnier
Kingfisher said it had an encouraging start to the second half of the year
// Kingfisher statutory pre-tax profit rose 62.4% to £398m in the six months to July 31, 2020
// Online sales during the period rose by a colossal 164%
// The group’s overall sales slipped 1.3% to £5.9bn

Kingfisher profits for the first half of the year have risen, delivering a “resilient financial performance” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the six months to July 31, 2020, the retailer, which owns DIY giant B&Q, said statutory pre-tax profit rose 62.4 per cent to £398 million and adjusted pre-tax profits grew 23.1 per cent to £415 million.

Online sales during the period rose by a colossal 164 per cent and now account for 19 per cent of the group’s total sales.


However, the group’s overall sales slipped 1.3 per cent to £5.9 billion, which reflected the adverse effects across the business due to the pandemic.

Like for like sales also dropped 1.6 per cent, with growth at B&Q in Poland and Romania offset by France, Screwfix, Russia and Iberia.

Profits grew 17.4 per cent to £533 million, while profit margins rose by nine per cent.

Moreover, Kingfisher said it had an encouraging start to the second half of the year, with sales in the third quarter up 16.6 per cent to September 19.

“We delivered a resilient financial performance in the first half of the year, with the adverse impact of Covid-19 in Q1 offset by a strong recovery in Q2,” Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said.

“This recovery has continued into Q3 to date, with growth across all banners and categories.

“The crisis has prompted more people to rediscover their homes and find pleasure in making them better.

“It is creating new home improvement needs, as people seek new ways to use space or adjust to working from home.

“It’s also clear that customers are becoming more comfortable with ordering online. And delivering value to consumers is imperative against a challenging economic backdrop.

“Through our new strategic direction our retail banners have gained agility and have leveraged their distinct positioning.

“This has strengthened our market positions and delivered much improved LFL sales before and after the lockdowns.

“Our experiences through the crisis have reinforced the benefits of our strategic direction and have made us bolder in our priorities.

“We have made progress against the strategic plan announced in June. We are fundamentally reorganising our commercial operating model to serve our customers better.

“We have accelerated our plans around ecommerce, with a focus on fulfilment from stores. We are continuing to improve our operational performance in France, and have introduced new trading approaches at each of our banners.

“We are testing a number of initiatives, including new concepts, services and partnerships.

“There remains considerable uncertainty around Covid-19 and our near term priorities have not changed – to provide support to the communities in which we operate, to look after our colleagues as a responsible employer, to serve our customers as a retailer of essential goods, and to protect our business for the long term.

“Looking forward, while the near term outlook is uncertain, the longer term opportunity for Kingfisher is significant.

“There is a lot more to do, but the new team and new plan is now established in the business and we are committed to returning Kingfisher to growth.”

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