Kingfisher trims full-year profit outlook
Kingfisher trimmed full-year profit guidance on Thursday, despite an improvement in third-quarter sales amid strong demand for energy efficiency products.
The retailer, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, said underlying group sales rose 1.7% to £3.26bn, or 0.2% on a like-for-like basis.
Within that, sales fell by 2.3% in the UK, its biggest market, to £1.55bn, and nudged ahead just 0.5% in France, where Kingfisher owns Castorama and Brico Depot, to £1.1bn. Elsewhere overseas, sales rose 6.7% to £621m.
The group said trading in the UK and Ireland had been adversely impacted by both the abnormally warm weather in October and the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, when stores were closed. Like-for-like sales at B&Q fell 3.5%, and eased 0.5% at Screwfix.
In France, sales were dented by similarly warm weather as well as industrial action at petrol stations, which hit footfall.
Kingfisher said the fourth quarter had started well, with underlying sales ahead 2.8% in the three weeks to 19 November.
But it conceded there was "a backdrop of heightened macroeconomic uncertainty", and trimmed its forecast for full-year adjusted pre-tax profits to between £730m and £760m, from previous guidance of between £730m and £770m.
Thierry Garnier, chief executive, said: "Our sales trends continued to be resilient, with like-for-like sales 15.3% ahead of pre-pandemic levels in the quarter.
"While the market backdrop remains challenging, DIY sales continue to be supported by new industry trends such as more working from home and a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency.
"While we continue to vigilant against macroeconomic uncertainty, we remain confidence in both the resilience of our industry and in continuing to grow ahead of markets."