DIY group Kingfisher expects to report full year pre-tax profit at the top end of analyst expectations, despite B&Q being hit by the snowy weather in December.
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For its fourth quarter in the 13 weeks to January 29, Kingfisher’s group sales were down 0.1%, or up 2% in constant currencies. Like-for-likes were up 0.6%.
It said the consensus suggests pre-tax profit will be in the range from £661m to £672m, and it will be towards the higher end.
B&Q total sales increased by 0.1% to £835m, while like-for-likes slipped 0.3%. It said the adverse weather temporarily disrupted the delivery and installation of kitchens. Total UK and Ireland sales, including Screwfix, were up 0.7% to £954m.
Ian Cheshire, group chief executive, said: “We have ended another challenging year in robust shape. Our programme of self-help initiatives has continued to deliver profit growth and higher returns whilst strengthening the business for the future.”
In France, total sales were up 3% to £896m, and like-for-like were up 2%. In its other international business, total sales were up 2.6% to £455m, while like-for-likes slipped 1.1%.
It said China delivered a profit in the period, traditionally the strongest trading quarter of the financial year, and the turnaround plan remains on track. Total sales declined by 21.5% to £106m, and like-for-likes slipped 16.2%.
Cheshire said: “Our international businesses delivered strong growth in the final quarter, more than offsetting some weather disruption and a weak market in the UK & Ireland, and so we expect to announce full year profits towards the top end of the range of analyst estimates.
“Looking ahead we will continue with self-help activity in 2011 as we complete our successful Delivering Value plan and start to mobilise the next phase of our development.”
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