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B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher sees sales fall less than expected


Proactive Investors – B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher (LON:KGF) reported a fall in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, worsening into the second, but kept its full-year guidance unchanged.

LFL sales dropped 0.9% in the three months to 30 April, worsening to a 2.5% decline in the first few weeks of the second quarter.

Helped by new store openings, the FTSE 100 group reported total sales of £3.3 billion, down 0.3% on a year ago, or up 0.3% on a constant currency basis.

Sales in the UK & Ireland were up 2.6%, or 1.2% on a LFL basis, while France was down 8.1% or 5.3% LFL. Other international sales were up 7% or 2% LFL thanks to strength in Poland and Romania offsetting weaker Spain and Portugal.

“We have seen continued resilience in our core categories, although ‘big-ticket’ sales have been weak reflecting the broader market as expected,” said CEO Thierry Garnier.

He hailed the gaining of “considerable” market share, with positive LFL sales at Screwfix and strong LFL sales growth of 8.5% at TradePoint, while France improved slightly on the preceding quarter but trading continued to reflect the weak overall retail market.

“We continue to drive our strategic priorities at pace and remain focused on delivering market share growth,” he said, with e-commerce sales growing 12.7% and the marketplace model extended into France.

Three new Screwfix stores were opened in the UK and seven in France, while data, AI, retail media and trade loyalty initiatives were also expanded.

“We remain focused on driving productivity gains and maintaining tight control of our costs and inventories. In France we are pushing ahead with our plan to improve performance, having successfully completed our structural simplification and transitioned to new leadership at Castorama.

“Looking forward, we confirm the guidance outlined in March for the full year, including our expectations for the overall market in 2024.”

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