Kingfisher has shaved £10m from the upper end of its profit guidance in the face of rising wages and energy bills.

Screwfix France sore exterior

Screwfix recently opened its first store in France

The DIY giant, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, said full-year adjusted pre-tax profit would now come within the range of £730m to £760m.

At its half-year results in September, Kingfisher forecast that profits could hit £770m.

The group said the updated earnings forecast accounted for “additional P&L investments to strengthen our Screwfix France store opening plan, additional wage support for colleagues, and slightly higher energy costs”.

It came as Kingfisher posted an uptick in sales during the three months to October 31. Total group sales climbed 1.7% to £3.26bn on a constant currency basis, while like-for-likes edged up 0.2%. Like-for-likes were up 15.3% on pre-pandemic levels. 

In the UK and Ireland, total sales inched up 0.1% year on year in constant currencies, but like-for-likes dropped 2.3%.

At B&Q, total sales were down 2.7% during the quarter, while like-for-likes fell at a steeper rate of 3.5%.

Screwfix posted a 4.9% uplift in total sales, though like-for-likes slipped 0.5%.  

Kingfisher’s UK and Ireland division was its only market to suffer a like-for-like decline during the period. 

In France, where it owns Castorama and Brico Dépôt, like-for-likes were up 0.5%. Poland was Kingfisher’s fastest-growing market during the period, delivering a 7.6% jump in like-for-like sales.

The group said it had made a “good start” to its fourth quarter – like-for-likes were 2.8% ahead year-on-year in the three weeks to November 19 – but it cautioned that it remained “mindful of the current backdrop of heightened macroeconomic uncertainty”. 

Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “While the market backdrop remains challenging, DIY sales continue to be supported by new industry trends such as more working from home and a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency. DIFM [do it for me] and trade activity also continues to be well supported by robust pipelines for home improvement work.”

Amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, Garnier added: “Competitive pricing remains a priority. With our customers facing rising living costs, we are determined to make home improvement affordable and accessible, particularly through our own exclusive brands that represent 45% of our sales.

“While we continue to be vigilant against macroeconomic uncertainty, we remain confident in both the resilience of our industry and in continuing to grow ahead of our markets.”