B&Q owner Kingfisher reported that measures to improve its UK and Ireland business were paying off after it reported a 35% rise in half-year profits.

The DIY group has revamped stores and launched product and service initiatives such as self-service check-outs in a bid to weather tough conditions.

B&Q’s profits in the UK and Ireland grew 66% to £137 million, while group pre-tax profits rose to £288 million in the six months to August 1.

In the UK, favourable weather boosted sales of outdoor products towards the start of the trading period, while renewed consumer interest in home and DIY improvements offset the impacts of the recession and weak housing market.

Kitchen, bathroom and bedroom sales were up by around 4%, helped by new ranges and the collapse of competitors such as MFI.

Kingfisher said profits in the UK were also helped by supply chain efficiencies and a reduction in mark-down activity compared with last year.

Other initiatives to boost performance have included the introduction of monthly store team bonuses, linked to sales and store profit.

B&Q has 119 large format stores - of which 65 have been modernised - and 211 medium-sized stores.