Kingfisher sales drop despite supply pressures easing

The company expects FY 22/23 adjusted pre-tax profits of £770m, despite anticipating ‘other’ retail losses of £20m

Kingfisher has announced its like-for-like sales dropped 5.4% to £3.2bn in the three months ended 30 April 2022 (Q1), although this is up 16.2% from pre-pandemic levels as inflationary and supply chain pressures have eased.

In the UK and Ireland, total sales fell 14.1% in Q1, but increased 16.7% on a three-year basis. Kingfisher said demand remains resilient, and trading in all banners and across all customer segments, particularly DIY and DIFM/trade, is in line with expectations.

In particular, B&Q sales were -17.8%, with like-for-like sales dropping 18.3%, despite rising 16.3% compared to pre-Covid levels. The company said this reflects a “very strong” prior year comparative and the impact of storms in the UK in February. 

All categories across B&Q reportedly performed “good” on a three-year basis, particularly in the building and joinery, outdoor, and bathroom and storage categories. However, like-for-like sales of weather-related categories fell 28%, and sales of non-weather-related categories, including showroom, decreased 14%.

Additionally, Screwfix sales were -7.0%, with like-for-like sales falling 10.9%, although this is up 18.0% on a three-year basis. Screwfix hailed a “strong” three-year performance in tools and hardware and electricals, plumbing, heating and cooling (EPHC) categories. 

Screwfix opened 13 new stores in Q1 in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and reportedly remains on track to open 80 new stores in these countries during this financial year. The business will also open its first stores in France in the second half of 2022.

Meanwhile, omni-channel engagement “remains high” with e-commerce sales growing 164% on a three-year basis, representing 16% of group sales.

Looking ahead, the company expects FY 22/23 adjusted pre-tax profits of £770m, despite anticipating ‘other’ retail losses of £20m. ‘Other’ consists of NeedHelp, Screwfix International, and franchise agreements. Kingfisher also anticipates retail loss of £5m in relation to the investment in B&Q’s e-commerce marketplace.

Thierry Garnier, chief executive officer, said: “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.

“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 e-commerce marketplace, the expansion of Screwfix in the UK and France, new store openings in Poland, further increasing our trade customer base.”

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