• Full-year pre-tax profits slide 20.5% to £512m
  • Group sales slip 2.3% to £10.3bn
  • UK retail profits up 18% to £326m after like-for-likes increase 4.4%
  • B&Q like-for-likes up 1.9%; Screwfix like-for-likes jump 15.3%

Kingfisher has reported a 20.5% fall in full-year pre-tax profits but boss Véronique Laury said its turnaround has made “solid progress”. 

Group sales at the B&Q and Screwfix owner slid 2.3% to £10.3bn in the year to January 31.

The retailer said its preferred profits measure, adjusted pre-tax earnings, which strips out the cost of restrucuturing, had seen a rise of 0.3% to £686m.

Kingfisher is in the middle of an overhaul after last year revealing plans to close 60 stores, putting 3,000 jobs at risk.

”We have…delivered solid progress on the first sharp decisions announced last year,” said chief executive Véronique Laury.

In the UK and Ireland, full-year retail profits rose 18% to £326m as like-for-likes increased 4.4%.

Total sales rose 5.6% to £4.85bn as the retailer was boosted by “a stronger UK economy and a more buoyant housing construction market”.

At its B&Q business, like-for-likes in the year rose 1.9%. Total sales were up 1.1% to £3.8bn. Online sales at the DIY retailer jumped 29%.

At Screwfix, total sales jumped 26.3% to £1.05bn, while like-for-likes rose 15.3%.

The performance was driven by “strong growth from the specialist trade desks exclusive to plumbers and electricians, strong digital and mobile growth (mobile up 100%; click-and-collect up 52%); new and extended ranges; and the continued roll out of new outlets”, Kingfisher said. A total of 62 net new outlets were opened in the year, taking the total to 457.

In January, Kingfisher revealed details of a five-year growth plan.

Laury added today: ”By putting customer needs first we will, by the end of that period, deliver a £500m sustainable annual profit uplift, over and above ‘business as usual’. It is an ambitious plan.

“However based on the solid progress so far, and the competence and enthusiasm of our colleagues, we feel very confident in our ability to deliver.”

Kingfisher also faces the prospect of a revitalised Homebase, under Australian retail giant Wesfarmers, which acquired by the business from Home Retail Group in January.

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