Strong performance propels Kingfisher
Warm weather lifted sales of outdoor goods at B&Q and helped drive retail profits at Kingfisher up 29.9 per cent to£88.6 million for the 13 weeks to May 5.

The DIY giant said that group sales rose 14.8 per cent, with like-for-likes up 6.7 per cent.

B&Q put in a strong performance in the UK, with sales up 11.9 per cent to£1 billion and like-for-likes motoring ahead 5.9 per cent. Retail profit at B&Q rocketed 61.6 per cent to£35.4 million. The retailer said the performance had been driven by favourable weather stimulating early seasonal demand for gardening and outdoor products, sales of which soared 20 per cent year on year. Kitchen sales were also ahead, thanks to a big promotional event at the end of the previous quarter.

Sales in France increased 9.1 per cent to£764.4 million and sales in the rest of Europe soared 43.8 per cent to£277.5 million.

Group chief executive Gerry Murphy was cautious about the outlook for the group and warned that interest rate rises could affect future trading in the UK.

'The year has started well, although it is still early days with the summer outdoor season still to come. While the outlook for our international markets is generally positive and we are pleased with progress on B&Q's development plan, we remain cautious on the UK market, with demand for bigger home improvement projects likely to be sensitive to interest rates.'