Kingfisher raises H1 outlook after strong quarter
Kingfisher said first-half sales and profit would beat expectations after the owner of B&Q achieved strong sales growth in the first quarter.
Group sales were £3.45bn in the three months to the end of April - up 64.2% on a like-for-like basis from a year earlier and 22.5% from 2019 at constant currency.
Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix, raised its first-half like-for-like sales outlook to 'mid to high teens' from 'low double digit' and said adjusted pretax profit would be £580-600m, ahead of its previous expectations. The FTSE 100 company left its second-half guidance unchanged and said it was aiming to increase annual profit ahead of sales.
In the UK and Ireland like-for-like sales rose 65% to £1.83bn from a year earlier and 38.6% from 2019 and in France equivalent sales were £1.18bn - up 102% from a year earlier and 18.1% over two years. Sales in other markets rose 5.9% to £444m from a year earlier, held back by falling sales in Poland.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher's chief executive, said: "With the strong start to the year, we now anticipate first half sales and adjusted pretax profit to be ahead of our previous expectations. Whilst the second half of the financial year remains naturally uncertain, we continue to see supportive long-term trends for our industry and are confident of continued outperformance of our wider markets."
Kingfisher has benefited from a frenzied housing market in the UK and people spending money to improve and adapt their homes during the pandemic. The company said the second quarter started positively with like-for-like sales up 8.2% from a year earlier and 25% from 2019.