DIY giant Kingfisher has recorded a strong first quarter, helped by good weather, the late Easter and the run of Bank Holidays in the UK.
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Profits were up 20.9% at constant currencies to £174m, while total sales were up 4.7% on the same basis to £2.7bn. Like for like sales were up 3.3%.
The French business, where Kingfisher trades as Castorama and Brico Depot, was the star performer, with a 31.5% increase in profits and and a 5.4% increase in like-for-likes.
In the UK, where it trades under the B&Q and Screwfix banners, like-for-likes were up 1.4% and profits up 14.7% to £83m. In its other international markets, profits were up 7.3% on like-for-likes up 3.7%.
Group chief executive Ian Cheshire said that continued focus on margin and productivity had helped drive the growth in profits, but he was cautious about the outlook. “It remains our view that this year is likely to be a tough one for all retailers, especially in the UK. It is also likely that the early Spring weather will have brought forward some of our outdoor seasonal sales.”