B&Q sales boosted by home improvement boom
Total group sales rose 18 per cent to £3.5bn for the quarter to October 31, with a 17 per cent increase in like-for-like sales.
The company, which also runs Screwfix in the UK, said like-for-like sales growth slowed to 13 per cent in the first weeks of the current quarter as it was hit by tightening restrictions across Europe.
It said all of its stores remain open to customers despite lockdown measures, due to their essential status.
The company has rapidly grown its online business during the pandemic, with e-commerce sales up 153 per cent in the third quarter.
UK sales rose 22 per cent during the period, with B&Q posting 24 per cent revenue growth as it saw particularly strong sales for outdoor products.
Screwfix delivered 17 per cent growth thanks to solid sales with trade customers.
Kingfisher's chief executive, Thierry Garnier, said: “We achieved strong sales growth in the third quarter across all retail banners and categories, with higher footfall and average transaction value.
“Our growth was supported by strong market demand, as consumers spent more time in their homes and focused on improving them. Overall, we believe that the renewed focus on homes is supportive for our markets.
“Furthermore, we are confident that the strategic and operational actions we have taken so far are helping us to build a strong foundation for long-term growth.”
Adam Vettese, analyst at eToro, said: “Up until now, Kingfisher has struggled to capitalise on the DIY boom that has gripped the nation since coronavirus first struck.
“While it beat expectations and posted a profit in the first half of the year, the B&Q owner’s sales were a disappointment and it seemed as though it had missed out on a golden opportunity to gain from the renewed interest in self-completed home maintenance projects.
“However, it has clearly got its act together in the third quarter, as evidenced by strong sales across all of the countries it operates in.”