Kingfisher sales drop but surpass pre-pandemic levels

// Kingfisher sales decline although beating pre-pandemic levels
// The retailer recorded sales down 4.2% in constant currency in the three months to April 30

Kingfisher sales have dropped although it remains confident it can manage inflationary and supply chain pressures.

The retailer, which owns B&Q and Screwfix as well as Castorama and Brico Depot in mainland Europe, recorded sales down 4.2% in constant currency in the three months to April 30.

Sales also declined 5.4% on a like-for-like basis over the same period.

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Kingfisher said that this still represented an uptick in sales on a three-year-basis compared with pre-pandemic levels – sales were up 16.2% compared to 2019 along with “significant market share gains”.

The retailer’s ecommerce business also continued to thrive, with sales up 164% on three years ago, and now representing 16% of the overall group sales.

At B&Q, like-for-like sales dropped 18.3% compared to last year, up 16.2% on a three year basis, while Screwfix sales declined 10.9% but grew 18% compared to 2019.

Kingfisher CEO Thierry Garnier said: “Kingfisher has delivered a good first quarter of trading, with LFL sales 16.2% ahead of our pre-pandemic performance.

“While facing very strong comparatives in the prior year, our continued strategic progress has enabled us to retain a significant proportion of the increased sales during the pandemic.

“We continue to effectively manage inflationary and supply chain pressures. As a result, our product availability is now very close to ‘normal’ levels across all our banners, and we continue to deliver value for our customers through our own exclusive brands and competitive prices.

“Looking forward, we are reiterating our profit guidance for FY 22/23. We are focused on delivering on our strategic objectives and growth initiatives, including the growth of our scalable ecommerce marketplace, the expansion of Screwfix in the UK and France, new store openings in Poland, further increasing our trade customer base.

“We remain committed to delivering attractive returns for our shareholders and are today announcing a further £300 million share buyback programme. This reflects our strong cash generation and our confidence in the Group’s outlook.”

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