Sunshine and weddings boost Kingfisher sales

Published:  03 June, 2011

LONDON: Kingfisher, owner of B&Q reported sales up 1.4% in the UK and Ireland, but warned of a tough year ahead.

The group is selling more garden furniture and outdoor paint as sunny weather and extra bank holidays enticed people into their gardens.

In the UK and Ireland, where Kingfisher has 496 stores, indoor project sales fell 10% "as customers preferred to concentrate on outdoor projects".

Overall like-for-like sales, including those of Kingfisher's French arm, rose 3.3% to £2.7bn in the 13 weeks to April 30. Profits were £174m, a rise of 21% on a constant currency basis.

Ian Cheshire, chief executive, said: "I am pleased that we have made a strong start to the year, capitalising on more favourable weather conditions right across Europe and extended public holidays in the UK."

"It remains our view that this year is likely to be a tough one for all retailers, especially in the UK," he said.

The group's Screwfix chain performed well, with new product ranges pushing total sales up 5.4% to £124m.

Shortly after the end of the first quarter period, Kingfisher paid £23m for up to 31 leasehold properties from the administrator of rival Focus. It aims to reopen these stores as B&Qs "in due course".

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