DIY retailer Hornbach, in which Kingfisher has a minority stake, has reported that preliminary sales rose 6.2% to E3.2bn (£2.67bn) for the year to February 29, 2012. DIY sales in Germany increased 5.4% to E1.73bn (£1.45bn), while like-for-likes were up 5.8%. International like-for-likes grew 1.6%, excluding currency effects, but fell 1% overall.

Chairman Albrecht Hornbach said: “It’s the right time for large-scale construction and renovation projects. That’s especially true for Germany.

Record employment figures, high consumer confidence and low interest rates have boosted housing construction.”