B&Q owner Kingfisher UK & Ireland retail profit slumped 9.8% to £75m in the first quarter as wet weather hindered sales in the crucial Easter trading period.

Like-for-likes slumped 10.4% while total sales fell 7% to £1.1bn.

In the retailer’s B&Q business in the UK and Ireland like-for-likes plummeted 11.7% as total sales fell 8.9% to £968m. Retail profit declined by 13.8% to £65m.

The fall came as sales of seasonal products – which can represent 30% of sales in the first quarter, slumped 30%.

Group retail profit fell 8.6% to £160m as Europe also suffered from poor weather and an adverse currency translation.

The first quarter numbers were also negatively impacted by strong comparables from the previous year.

Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said:”We anticipated the first quarter would be challenging, compared with last year’s strong growth which was boosted by favourable spring weather and public holidays.

“But an extremely wet April this year in the UK and France compounded the difficulty, adversely impacting sales of outdoor and seasonal categories.

 “Given this unfavourable backdrop, we focused hard on our margin and cost initiatives and were able to significantly limit the profit impact. With the first quarter typically one of the least significant of the year and with the key summer season still ahead of us, we remain confident that we are well prepared to capitalise on any improvement in conditions and deliver a solid full year result.    

 “We are also making progress with our new programme of self-help initiatives, ‘Creating the Leader’, aimed at helping our customers have better, more sustainable homes and building a more valuable business for our shareholders.”

France outperformed the market, Kingfisher said. Retail profit in the country was flat at £78m. But at constant exchange rates represented a 4.2% rise.

Other International like-for-likes slipped 2% while total sales increased 5.8% to £438m.