Mulcahy claims credit for right Kingfisher strategy

As Kingfisher released upbeat results on Wednesday, ex-chief executive Sir Geoff Mulcahy said the figures vindicated the strategy he established.

The DIY-to-electricals combine posted a 17 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to£655.4 million and sales exceeded£10 billion for the first time.

Kingfisher intends to demerge its electricals division and list it separately on the London Stock Exchange by the end of July.

Mulcahy said: 'It reflects what I was doing and what the team was doing. It also reflects the strategy that was put in place with the minority stake that was taken in Castorama and the demerger of Woolworths.'

Mulcahy left last year after the arrival of non-executive chairman Francis Mackay. Investors had complained that the shift towards becoming a pure home improvement business had not been rapid enough.

Mulcahy said: 'I think (this week's announcement) vindicates the strategy I had in place. It put the business in a winning position and I am very pleased the business is doing well.'

New group chief executive Gerry Murphy nodded in Mulcahy's direction when he said he had taken over a business that needed adjustments but 'isn't broken'.

He said: 'Our top priorities are to keep improving the customer offer, grow our market share, drive profitability and improve shareholder returns.'

Kingfisher also plans to appoint a chairman for the electricals business to work with its chief executive, Jean-Noel Labroue.