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Kingfisher says weather to blame for sales decline

Kingfisher PLC , owner of the B&Q home improvement chain, blamed the bad weather for falling demand for outdoor products as it reported a fall in same-store sales and said its gross margin was down in the U.K. following a series of promotions to clear stock.

MAIN FACTS:

-Total sales +3.7% in 10 weeks to July 7,but down 0.4% in stores open more than a year; same-store France sales -2.3%; U.K. +1.1%

-Total sales +1% in 23 weeks to July 7, but down 2.8% in stores open more than a year; same-store France sales -0.7%; U.K. -5.6%

-Gross margin is expected to be down in the U.K., reflecting the markdowns needed to clear horticultural stocks, additional promotions to stimulate activity and the decision to accelerate range clearance

-Chief Executive Ian Cheshire said: "With rain reaching almost biblical proportions we had to work hard to tempt customers out."

-Mr Cheshire added: "However, additional marketing and promotional activity helped encourage customers to switch some of their activity to internal repairs and projects, partially offsetting the weather related weakness, particularly in the U.K.. We also took the necessary promotional action to clear horticultural stocks."

-Shares closed Wednesday at 275.2 pence valuing the company at GBP6.52 billion.

Source: Market Watch
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kingfisher-says-weather-to-blame-for-drop-in-sales-2012-07-19-24854117

19 July 2012
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