B&Q and Screwfix-owner Kingfisher said like-for-like sales were hit in its second quarter as bad weather dampened trading at B&Q. 

The international DIY group, which is two years into a five-year transformation plan, reported a 1.9% drop in total like-for-likes in the three months to July 31.

Kingfisher’s overall sales grew 4% to £3.14bn on a reported basis. But, on a constant currency basis, this represented a drop of 1.7%.

B&Q and Screwfix

Across its two fascias in the UK and Ireland, like-for-likes slipped 1%, while total sales fell 2.1% in constant currency to £1.33bn.

B&Q was the weakest-performing retailer in the group during the quarter, with sales declining 7.8% to £967m – 4.7% on a like-for-like basis – against tough comparatives. 

B&Q’s seasonal performance dropped 11%, as the weather failed to match up to last year’s, when B&Q’s second quarter was boosted by 10%.

At Screwfix, like-for-like sales jumped 10.8%.

Overall sales grew 17.2% to £365m, driven by the trade specialist’s “leading digital capability”, new ranges and new stores.

At Kingfisher’s French businesses, Castorama and Brico Dépôt, sales fell 3.3%, and 3.8% on a like-for-like basis.

‘One Kingfisher’ business disruption

In the first quarter of its current financial year, Kingfisher said “unforeseen business disruption” from the implementation of its transformation plan – One Kingfisher – had sliced around 2% off its sales.

While some disruption continued in its second quarter, the retailer said this is now on an “improving trend”.

Group chief executive Veronique Laury said: “Q2 has broadly followed a similar course to Q1 although B&Q’s performance was impacted by seasonal swings across Q1 and Q2.

“We have also continued to experience some disruption across the businesses, although on an improving trend. Availability of this year’s unified and unique product is now approaching normal levels.

“We continue to adapt new processes as our transformation progresses, which will support the significant amount of change planned for H2.”

She added that the business has put “self-help” plans in place to support its overall full-year performance as the next stage of the One Kingfisher strategy is implemented. 

People moves

During the period, the company hired two new chief executives to run its UK retailers.

Former Brico Depot Romania boss Christian Mazauric took the reins at B&Q earlier this year after Michael Loeve stepped down after less than two years.

Screwfix operations and property director Graham Bell has become chief executive of the trade specialist after its boss of four years, Andrew Livingston quit to become chief executive of Howden Joinery Group.

Bell, who has held roles within the Kingfisher group for 18 years and been on the board for more than a decade, previously worked at stablemate B&Q before moving across to Screwfix.