Kingfisher has posted a spike in second-quarter sales following “strong demand” across its European markets and online.

The B&Q and Screwfix owner said group like-for-like sales jumped 22% in the three months to July 18. 

Kingfisher said the figures were boosted by store reopenings in the UK and France from mid-April and “strong” ecommerce growth – its digital sales trebled during the period. 

However, during the wider six-month period, Kingfisher’s like-for-like sales dropped 3.7%. 

Despite the fall in first-half sales and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Kingfisher said it expects interim profits to come in ahead of last year’s figure. 

Revenues in the DIY giant’s UK and Ireland division rose 16% in May and 26% in June on a like-for-like basis. 

France was Kingfisher’s only market to grow at a quicker pace, with like-for-likes surging 24% and 33% respectively across those two months. 

Kingfisher’s ecommerce sales rocketed 202% and 225% respectively in May and June as shoppers shifted spend online during the health crisis.

That momentum was maintained into July, although that rapid growth rate did slow slightly to 183% during the final week of the quarter. 

Kingfisher cautioned that visibility over longer-term performance “remains low given uncertainty around Covid-19 and the wider economic outlook”. 

But it insisted that the group was on “a sound footing in the current crisis and beyond”.

Kingfisher will report half-year results on September 22.