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High Street

Kingfisher sales slip in H1 results

DIY retailer Kingfisher has reported a 0.9% decrease in total sales for the six months ended 31 July 2019.

Retail profit was down 4.4% in constant currency, which it said was “largely driven” by its French operations, and statutory pre-tax profit dropped by 12.5%, after exceptional items.

B&Q’s total sales in the UK declined by 3.3% to £1.77bn, and like-for-like sales also decreased by 3.2%. Sales were also impacted by the ongoing implementation of its new surfaces and décor ranges.

However, the group said B&Q’s total digital sales continued to make good progress with sales growing by 10% and now represent 5% of total sales.

It said its outlook across its main markets for the rest of the year remains mixed, with the UK facing “ongoing uncertainty”, and added its gross margin percent guidance for FY 19/20 is unchanged.

CEO Véronique Laury said: “Our transformation activity continued in the first half of this year, including new range launches across the Group and the rollout of further capabilities within our unified IT platform.

“These activities resulted in some ongoing disruption that impacted sales at B&Q and Castorama France. This was partly offset by positive sales performances in Screwfix, which continues to grow its market share, and Poland.”

She added: “It has been a great privilege to lead Kingfisher during a period of significant change, both in retail and within our business, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues for their tireless commitment.”

Andy Cosslett, chairman, said: “The board and I would like to thank Véronique for her vision and her determination in laying the foundations for our future growth. She leaves with our best wishes.

“In Thierry Garnier, who joins Kingfisher next week, we have found the right individual with the right skills and experience to build on the platform that we are establishing. In the near term our focus will be on improving execution and delivering on our key priorities for the year.”

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