Kingfisher is remaining cautious on its outlook for the next financial year after it saw total and international sales slip.

Brico Depot Dax

Sales in France fell 5.9% as it faced a weak market and low consumer confidence

Total sales declined 1.8% on a constant currency basis to £12.9bn, while sales were down 3.1% on a like-for-like basis in the year to January 31, 2024.

The UK and Ireland saw consistent market share gains but this was offset by France and Poland, which were impacted by a more “challenging consumer backdrop”.

The UK and Ireland saw like-for-like growth of 0.8%, supported by “resilient” ecommerce and trade customer sales, as well as market share gains at B&Q, TradePoint and Screwfix.

Sales in France fell 5.9% on a like-for-like basis as it faced a weak market and low consumer confidence. Castorama is performing in line with the market but Brico Dépôt is weaker.

Poland reported a 9.5% decline in like-for-like sales as the group said performance was impacted by a “weak trading environment”, but there has been an improving sales trend since the second quarter.

Core and big-ticket make up 82% of sales and the category saw a like-for-like fall of 2.4%. Seasonal sales, which make up 18%, had a like-for-like decline of 5.9% as unseasonal weather made an impact.

Kingfisher is cautious about its outlook for the next financial year with current first-quarter trading showing a like-for-like sales decline of 2.3%.

It expects its full-year adjusted profit before tax to be between £490m to £550m.

Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Despite all the macroeconomic and consumer challenges in our markets over the past year, we have stayed focused on our customers and our long-term strategy. 

“I am immensely proud of all our teams for their efforts. In the UK and Ireland, B&Q, TradePoint and Screwfix each delivered resilient sales and market share growth – in particular, very strong gains at Screwfix. 

“In France, where the market has been impacted by low consumer confidence, we have made significant adjustments to the cost base and started to embed ecommerce marketplace and trade customer initiatives similar to those successfully implemented in the UK. 

“I Poland, where we faced strong comparatives and a tough economic backdrop, sales trends are gradually improving in line with the consumer environment.

“Looking forward, we remain confident in the attractive growth prospects of the home improvement industry and our ability to grow ahead of our markets. In the short term, while repairs, maintenance and renovation activity on existing homes continue to support resilient demand, we are cautious on the overall market outlook for 2024 due to the lag between housing demand and home improvement demand. 

“Against this backdrop, we will remain agile and focused on what is within our control - leveraging our strategy to deliver market share growth, driving productivity gains, and managing our costs and cash effectively.

“In line with this view, we reaffirm our medium-term financial priorities, focused on growth, cash generation and attractive returns to shareholders.”