DIY giant Kingfisher has slashed full-year profit expectations after facing harsh trading conditions, particularly in overseas markets.

The reduction came despite a performance in the first half that Kingfisher described as sales “slightly ahead of expectations”.

Total sales edged down 1% to £6.88bn in the period to July 31, when like-for-likes slipped 2.2%. Adjusted pre-tax profit was down 28.8% to £336m as the UK and Ireland and France did a little better than expected, but Poland performed worse. Kingfisher’s statutory pre-tax profit plunged 33.1% to £317m.

Like-for-likes in the UK and Ireland rose 1.7% in the half, “with strong market share gains at Screwfix”. In France, like-for-likes fell 3.8% and in Poland they slipped 10.9%.

In light of the first-half performance, Kingfisher cut its expectation for full-year adjusted pre-tax profit from £634m to £590m.

Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Our like-for-like sales [in the first half] were slightly ahead of expectations, against a backdrop of unseasonal weather and ongoing macroeconomic challenges in our markets…

“Trading in the UK and Ireland continues to have positive momentum. However, to better reflect our performance and the trading environment in our markets, we have updated our profit guidance and are proactively managing our operating costs accordingly.

“We remain very positive on the medium to long-term outlook for home improvement growth in our markets, and confident in our ability to grow market share and deliver on our medium-term financial objectives.”