Kingfisher share up on sales rise

24-07-2008

Kingfisher share up on sales rise
B&Q owner Kingfisher saw its shares rise 8.48 per cent in morning trading on a surprise sales increase of 4.4 per cent over the last ten weeks.

Although like-for-like sales were still down by 1.5 per cent, the DIY retailer said better weather encouraged consumers to spend and cost efficiencies offset the slight decline.

Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's chief executive, said: "As anticipated the UK market remains extremely tough, but we are trading solidly.

"We are cautious about the consumer outlook, however, I am confident that the investments made in recent years have improved our value credentials and customer offer, particularly in the UK and France, leaving us well placed to trade effectively in difficult times."

The DIY sector has been impacted by a slowing housing market and flooring specialist Floors 2 Go said it had called in the administrators this week after a sales slump.

But improved weather helped trade at B&Q over the last few months and sales of seasonal products jumped 20 per cent compared to last year, the retailer said.

Outside the UK, which accounts for over half of group sales, total sales were up 3.9 per cent boosted by a strong performance in Poland, where sales rose by 18.8 per cent.

China like-for-like sales plunged 28.5 per cent due to a weak housing market and less discounting, Kingfisher said.

"Work on reengineering ranges and revamping stores in 2009 is underway and the reinforced management team will be fully in place in Q3," the retailer said.

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