Kingfisher has reported a 0.9% dip in like-for-like sales during its third quarter as sales suffered in a weak French market.

Like-for-like sales in France decreased 4% for the quarter ending November 1 and weaker sales resulted in a 8.4% fall in retail profit on a constant currency basis in the French market.

Across the Kingfisher business retail profit was down 6.9% to £225m on a constant currencies basis during the quarter, although the performance was buoyed by increasing sales and profits in the UK and Ireland.

Sales and retail profits in the UK and Ireland increased by 4.8% and 11.2% respectively on a constant currency basis during the third quarter, which represents the last set of results under Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire.

Veronique Laury, the chief executive of Kingfisher’s Castorama business, will take over as group chief executive on December 8 and Cheshire will step down as boss on the same day, ahead of retiring as a director of the company on January 31.  

Cheshire said: “Trading conditions in our largest and most significant market, France, were particularly difficult and deteriorated across the quarter, impacted by the weak economic backdrop.

“In the UK however, where conditions have been more favourable, we have delivered LFL growth with Screwfix performing particularly well, delivering a 25% increase in sales on top of very strong growth last year.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 79,000 staff at Kingfisher for their hard work and support over the past seven years.”

 Laury added: “I am delighted to be succeeding Sir Ian. He leaves a strong, and more sustainable business with a clear sense of purpose. I believe Kingfisher has an important role to play in improving people’s lives by helping them to improve their homes.

“With more than 26 years in home improvement, and 11 years at Kingfisher, I know our employees and our businesses well and I understand the reality of our customers’ lives.”