Kingfisher has revealed rising profits and like-for-likes and named Rugby Football Union chairman Andy Cosslett as its chairman, succeeding Daniel Bernard.
Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 8.3% to £743m while underlying pre-tax profit rose 14.7% to £787m.
Group like-for-likes were up 2.3% in constant currency in the year to January 31. Total sales rose 1.7% on a constant currency basis and 8.7% on a reported basis to £11.22bn.
The UK and Polish markets drove growth for Kingfisher, with overall UK and Ireland sales up 2.4% – 5.9% on a like-for-like basis – to £4.97bn.
B&Q total sales dropped 3.3% to £3.68bn while like-for-likes rose 3.5%, reflecting store closures.
Screwfix sales rose 23.2% and 13.8% on a like-for-like basis to £1.29m. This was driven by strong growth at specialist trade desks, strong digital growth and the continued roll out of new outlets.
Over the year, 60 new outlets were opened, taking the total to 517. Kingfisher is now targeting 700 UK Screwfix outlets, up from 600 previously.
Kingfisher delivered its One Kingfisher strategy first year objectives and said that it was “well set up” for its second year of transformation.
The five-year plan is expected to achieve £500m sustainable EBIT uplift by the end of the 2020/21 financial year and generate capital return of around £600m by the end of the 2018/19 full year.
Cosslett replaces Bernard
Cosslett joins Kingfisher in April as a non-executive director and chairman designate.
Bernard will step down in June at Kingfisher’s AGM after eight years as chairman and 11 on the board.
Cosslett comes from a varied background which includes stints at FMCG giants Unilever and Cadbury Schweppes, and six years as boss of InterContinental Hotels and another three at Fitness First.
His most recent tenure has been as chairman of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). He joined the board in 2012, serving as chairman of the organising committee of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and was made RFU chairman last October.
Chief executive Véronique Laury said: “I would personally like to thank Daniel for his support and wise advice since my appointment as CEO two years ago.
“He has supervised the new strategic thinking as well as the first successful year of transformation with challenge and dedication. I have been lucky to work with him.
”I now look forward to working with Andy, remaining as confident as ever in our ability to deliver our plan.”