• Kingfisher posts jump in first-quarter like-for-likes
  • B&Q sales rise 3.6% on like-for-like basis
  • Screwfix like-for-like sales spike 16.2%

B&Q owner Kingfisher has posted a 3.6% uplift in like-for-like sales during its first quarter, driven by its performance in the UK and Poland.

Like-for-like sales in its UK and Ireland division, which also includes Screwfix, jumped 6.2% on a constant currency basis, as total sales in the region increased 1.2% to £1.2bn.

B&Q reported a 3.6% uplift in like-for-like sales during the quarter ended April 30, although total sales dipped 4.3% to £951m on a constant currency basis.

Sister retailer Screwfix enjoyed a 16.2% spike in like-for-likes, as total sales surged 23.5% to £301m in constant currencies.

A 10.8% surge in like-for-like sales in its Polish business also helped Kingfisher record total sales of £2.7bn during the quarter, which the group said was “in line with expectations”.

Five-year plan

The retailer said it made further progress with its five-year ‘One’ Kingfisher plan during the three-month period, creating a unified IT platform in all B&Q stores ahead of plan.

Kingfisher said it remains “on track” to close around 15% of surplus space at B&Q after closing 10 stores during the period. It has now shuttered 40 of the 65 planned closures.

Kingfisher chief executive Véronique Laury said: “We have made a solid start to the year, trading in line with expectations.

“In addition, I am pleased with the early progress we are making on our operational milestones for this year, the first year of our ambitious five-year plan.

“We continue to feel confident in our ability to deliver our plan, based on putting customer needs first, supported by the expertise and enthusiasm of our colleagues.”

Kingfisher faces the prospect of increased competition in the UK after Australian retail giant Wesfarmers completed the acquisition of DIY chain Homebase in January.

Wesfarmers plans to scrap the Homebase fascia and replace it with its Bunnings brand, Australia’s biggest DIY retailer.