B&Q reports 10 per cent fall in profit

B&Q store. Pic: FRANK REID
B&Q store. Pic: FRANK REID
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The owner of B&Q has reported a 10.1 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £682m for the year to January 31 as it blamed weaker sales in France and business disruption.

Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix, said on an underlying basis, pre-tax profits rose 1.3 per cent to £797m.

B&Q like-for-like sales dropped 2.8 per cent, but Screwfix jumped 10.1 per cent over the year, helping overall UK and Ireland sales lift 0.6 per cent.

But Kingfisher said “business disruption” knocked around 1.5 per cent off its like-for-like sales, and UK trading was hit in the final quarter by falling demand for big ticket products such as kitchens.

Veronique Laury, chief executive of Kingfisher, said: “Our performance this year has been mixed, however, with solid growth at Screwfix and Poland, offset by continued weaker sales in France and some business disruption, principally reflecting product availability and clearance.

“We are acting on the causes of this disruption, however next year will be another big year in our transformation plan.”

She added: “The outlook for our main markets is also mixed. The UK is more uncertain, France is encouraging yet volatile, whilst the market in Poland remains supportive.”