Kingfisher’s boss said it has made a “solid” start to the year helped by a 15.4% jump in like-for-likes at its Screwfix business.

  • Group like-for-likes up 0.8%
  • Retail profits rise 1.4% to £150m on a constant currency basis
  • UK like-for-likes up 1.6%
  • Screwfix like-for-likes jump 15.4%

The B&Q owner today reported group sales of £2.6bn in the 13 weeks to May 2, up 0.8% on a like-for-like basis. Group retail profits rose 1.4% to £150m on a constant currency basis. However, on a reported basis profits slipped 4.8%as the retailer said it was hit by £10m of “adverse foreign exchange movements”.

UK like-for-likes climbed 1.6%, Kingfisher said. At the firm’s B&Q UK & Ireland unit like-for-likes slipped 1.1%, after declining sales of outdoor seasonal and building products. However sales of indoor products, excluding showroom were up 2%.

Sales of showroom products fell 7% “reflecting reduced promotional activity and the move to ‘Every Day Great Value’”, the retailer said.

Screwfix’s like-for-likes jumped 15.4%, boosted by its omnichannel offer, new ranges and six new stores.

UK gross margins were up 90 basis points which reflected weak comparatives due to “more promotionally-led showroom sales last year”.

“We have made a solid start to the year against strong comparatives,” said chief executive Véronique Laury.

Meanwhile, Laury said the company is making “good progress” with its ‘ONE’ Kingfisher plan. Agreements are in place to sell a quarter of the 60 B&Q stores earmarked for closure, Laury added.

In France, Kingfisher’s like-for-like sales fell 1.2% to £953m, while in its other international markets like-for-likes rose 3.8% to £402m.