Kingfisher, owner of B&Q and Screwfix, has posted its half year results and revealed a 2.7% rise in adjusted sales and retail profit of 8.7% (for the 6 months ended 31 July 2016).
Underlying pre-tax profit was up a significant 13.5% to £436 million, thanks largely to UK and Poland profit growth – and £17 million favourable foreign exchange movements on the translation of non-sterling retail profits.
Total adjusted sales were up 3.1% in UK and Ireland, 0.3% in France and 7.5% in other international markets.
Beneath the positive numbers, the report noted that the B&Q store closures are now 80% complete, equating to 52 of the 65 planned.
Kingfisher reported that a unified IT platform is now in all its B&Q stores ahead of schedule.
While the UK and Ireland makes up the majority of Kingfisher’s store portfolio, internationally Kingfisher owns 221 stores in France, 74 in Romania, 29 in Spain, 20 in Russia, 12 in Germany and two in Portugal. Brico Depot is the brand Kingfisher operates in France, Spain, Romania and Portugal. Koctas in Kingfisher’s joint venture in Turkey, reportedly the number one home improvement retailer in the country.
Véronique Laury, Chief Executive Officer, said: “It has been a productive first half. We have delivered a good ‘business as usual’ result with both sales and profit growth. Performance has been driven by Poland and the UK, especially Screwfix, and a stable profit performance in France. This has been achieved alongside managing the start of our ambitious transformation plan, based on creating a unified company where customer needs come first.
“In the UK, the EU referendum has created uncertainty for the economic outlook, even though there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on our businesses. In France we remain cautious on the short term outlook.
“Looking longer term, we are starting to build solid foundations to enable us to deliver our five year transformation, which is our key growth driver. We are making good progress on our strategic milestones for this first year and we are on track. The level of transformation activity will increase significantly, however given the expertise and energy of our colleagues we continue to feel confident about the challenges ahead.”
The group is reportedly looking for a new HQ in London.