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Kingfisher set to return business rates relief funds

Kingfisher has announced it intends on returning the full amount of business rates relief received to the UK and ROI as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Kingfisher said its “total annual business rates bill” eligible for this relief is approximately £130m, of which £110m falls in FY 20/21 and the balance in FY 21/22.

Following this decision, the firm said it anticipates that FY 20/21 adjusted profit-before-tax will include £85m of “non-recurring cost savings” net of any “one-off” Covid-related costs.

Earlier this year the company reportedly repaid in full £23m under the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme.

Kingfisher benefited from the financial support measures it received from the UK and Irish governments which, together with its own measures to “reduce costs and preserve cash”, helped to protect jobs and “limit the financial impact” of Covid-19.

Since reopening our stores in late April and early May, Kingfisher said its sales performance has been strong, supported by higher demand for home improvement across the markets and by the “significant progress” that the business has made under its “Powered by Kingfisher’ strategy.

Thierry Garnier, CEO of Kingfisher, said: “Government support through this crisis has been invaluable for many companies, including ours. We also took swift action within our business in response to the pandemic to protect Kingfisher.

“We rapidly adapted our operations, both online and in-store, to fulfil the essential needs of our customers. We made significant investments to ensure the safety of our customers and teams, taking important steps to strengthen our balance sheet and limit the financial impact of Covid-19.”

He added: “These actions, combined with the roll-out of our new strategy and the hard work of our colleagues and teams, have delivered growth throughout the Group and led to the hiring of 3,500 additional colleagues.

“Given this resilience, and our commitment to support our communities, we believe that returning the UK and Irish business rates relief in full is the right thing to do.”

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