DIY group Kingfisher’s retail profits edged up 1.7% in constant currency to £271m in its third quarter as like-for-likes increased 1.4%.

Total sales advanced 4.6% to £2.9bn in the quarter to November 2.

In the UK and Ireland, like-for-likes increased 2% and retail profit jumped 8.3% to £63m, driven by a “very strong performance” from Screwfix where like-for-likes soared 11.1%. Total UK and Ireland sales increased 3.7% to £1.1bn.

Screwfix is benefiting from its “strong promotional programme”, extended opening hours, new stores and the introduction of a mobile click-and-collect service.

B&Q UK and Ireland like-for-likes edged up 0.4% over the quarter as total sales increased 0.8% to £915m.

Sales of outdoor seasonal products were down around 8% while indoor products were up about 3%, with new flooring and light bulb ranges performing particularly well.

Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “Following a mixed first half, we have seen growth in both sales and profits in our third quarter, one of our most significant trading periods in the year.

“Looking ahead, we remain ready to capitalise on any improvement in conditions or opportunities as they arise. In the meantime, our self-help plan, Creating the Leader, continues to progress well so I remain enthusiastic about our longer-term prospects.”

However, he highlighted that consumer confidence in France, its biggest market, is still weak with no obvious signs of an imminent improvement.