B&Q sees seasonal profits rise 5.3 per cent

B&Q parent company Kingfisher has announced a "solid overall quarter three performance with like-for-like sales up +1.8 per cent driven by the UK & Poland.

Total sales were +2.5 per cent and like-for-likes +5.8 per cent "reflecting continued strong Screwfix performance and solid B&Q performance".

B&Q UK & Ireland sales were -3.6 per cent reflecting store closure programme which is now nearly complete (seven in Q3; 59 to date of 65 planned). Like-for-likes were +3.5 per cent including two per cent benefit from sales transference associated with store closures. 

Like-for-like of seasonal was +5.3 per cent. Like-for-like of non-seasonal, including showroom was +3.1 per cent. The seasonal rise reflects a garden centre industry late season uplift helped by the weather for July to September.

Chief executive officer Veronique Laury said: "Q3 trading conditions have followed a similar trend to the first half. We have delivered another solid sales performance overall, trading in line with expectations. Sales have been driven by Poland and the UK, especially Screwfix, offset by softer sales in France.

"We continue to make good progress on our strategic milestones in the first year of our five year ONE Kingfisher transformation, and remain on track. In addition, we are gearing up for next year when the level of transformation activity will significantly increase. We remain confident in our ability to deliver our ambitious plan, based on always putting customer needs first, supported by the expertise and energy of our colleagues."

B&Q head of range Tim Clapp gave his views on how to attract new people into gardening this month, with a list of horticulture terms he would like to ban and the simple "bombproof, no instruction, plant and forget" methods he advocates.

Kingfisher has begun a strategy to boost annual profits by £500m by 2021 by selling the same products in all the countries in which it operates, reducing costs and growing online sales more rapidly.

The group has stores in France, Spain, Poland and Russia. Kingfisher reported improved half-yearly returns last month. Turnover was £5.749bn for the half year. New quarterly results were due on 18 November.

A company representative said: "We have started unifying our offer, with the same products presented everywhere in the same way. This will deliver significant customer benefits (newer products, higher quality, better sustainability, lower prices, simpler ranges, clearer merchandising and better packaging) alongside significant business benefits (higher sales, fewer SKUs, fewer suppliers, cost price reduction and improved processes)."


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