Kingfisher pre-tax profits plummeted 75 per cent after being hit by a poor performance in China and the closure of its Trade Depot chain in the UK.

The DIY group, which operates the B&Q and Screwfix chains in the UK, said that pre-tax profits in the year to the end of January fell to£90m, although sales climbed 11 per cent to£10bn.

Pre-tax profits not including the exceptional costs of restructuring in China and the UK rose 3 per cent to£368m.

In the UK, sales dropped 2.6 per cent to£4.3bn, as customers reined in spending on upgrading their homes. UK retail profit fell 15.6 per cent to£129m.

B&Q recorded a 6.1 per cent like-for-like drop in sales. Retail profit at the chain fell£25m to£106m on sales, which slumped 4.5 per cent to£3.8bn.

The retailer has announced a turnaround plan for its Chinese division and will close 22 of its 63 stores in the country. It will spend£107m revamping the remaining portfolio. The division notched up a£52m loss in the year after expanding too quickly in the country.

Chief executive Ian Cheshire said he still believed that there was “long-term potential” in the country.

In France, where the retailer operates its Castorama and Brico Depot fascias, like-for-likes fell 1.3 per cent. Retail profit climbed 1.9 per cent to£283m.

Cheshire added:"Although we anticipate the next year to continue to be very challenging, we will remain focused on providing the best choice and value for our customers.”

He added that the retailer would manage margins, costs and working capital “very tightly”.

Kingfisher closed all nine loss-making Trade Depot stores in the UK and opened 45 Screwfix stores during the period.