B&Q owner reports fall in profits as DIY chain remained under pressure

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The owner of B&Q has reported a 12.5 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £245m for the six months to July 31 as sales at the DIY chain remained under pressure.

Kingfisher said the UK performance and that of its operations in France were “disappointing” and cautioned the outlook for the rest of the year was mixed.

In the UK, it said like-for-like B&Q sales dropped 3.2 per cent over the first half while its Screwfix arm delivered growth of 5.1 per cent.

The results mark the last for chief executive Veronique Laury, who hands over the reins to new boss Thierry Garnier on September 25.

Mr 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.”

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.”