Profits at DIY giant Kingfisher, owner of B&Q, surged in the third quarter as the group benefited from self-help measures such as more direct sourcing and common ranging.
Despite tough trading conditions profit also climbed at the flagship B&Q UK business as the Indian summer boosted sales of outdoor products such as garden furniture.
Kingfisher posted a 13.1% increase in group retail profit to £273m in the period to October 29, when sales advanced 3.5% to £2.81bn.
In the UK and Ireland, B&Q’s retail profit jumped 20.6% to £46m on sales that inched up 0.4% to £928m. Like-for-likes slipped 0.9%.
The warm Autumn weather helped lift sales of outdoor seasonal products by 12% and garden furniture was ahead by 68%. Sales of non-seasonal goods fell 4%.
Gross margin at B&Q was up 50 basis points, assisted by sales of higher margin goods and greater direct sourcing.
Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “The short-term outlook in our major markets remains challenging but Kingfisher is in good shape and we are more able to drive market share gains, profit growth and higher cash returns.”
The retailer is poised to launch a new phase of self-help initiatives next year.