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The week ahead… B&Q and Halfords to post results

The retail sector's battle against the weather and economic conditions will be in sharp focus next week when Halfords and B&Q post figures.

DIY chain B&Q is expected to reveal the impact of Britain's wash-out summer weather when parent firm Kingfisher updates on trading.

B&Q was hit hard by the wet weather over Easter as homeowners put DIY and gardening projects on hold, posting a 12% slide in sales due to poor demand for outdoor products and building materials. Given that the weather has remained dismal since April, Thursday's update is set to confirm tough trading in the second quarter.

Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan predicts the wet weather in Kingfisher's first half will leave interim profits down 4.8% to £417 million. "Around 40% of B&Q's sales in the quarter relate to outdoor activities - seasonal, painting the house etc - and this will obviously have taken a big hit," he said.

The pressure on Halfords to get its performance back on track will intensify on Thursday after the dire weather hit sales of bikes and other leisure products.

The group, which has 467 stores in the UK and Ireland, has seen its share price almost halve over the past year as high petrol prices cause motorists to use their cars less, hitting demand for car maintenance products.

Halfords has already admitted it made a "very disappointing" start to its first quarter and the City expects like-for-like sales to fall 6.8% in the three months to the end of June.

Source : MSN Money
http://money.uk.msn.com/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=250579273

14 July 2012
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