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Has Kingfisher nailed B&Q's recovery?

Kingfisher promised a DIY job on reviving B&Q. Has it worked, or is it just a Screwfix fix?

Britain's husbands (if you excuse the generalisation) are wearily accustomed to cynicism from their wives, after insisting a faltering do-it-yourself project will look great in the end.

As most amateurs eventually admit, the incredulous reaction is usually shrewd, which is why botching your own plumbing is proving less and less popular compared with hiring a pro.

Similarly, the City invoked disbelieving looks when execs from B&Q owner Kingfisher kept promising that, despite tricky markets, its "self-help" plan to revive the retailer would eventually look like a professional job.

But, unlike its customers, the execs are now proudly showcasing their handiwork: the shares, which for years wobbled like a cheap barbecue, surged last year; meanwhile, as Kingfisher unveils results this week, there's talk of returning money to shareholders.

Still, surging profits at its Screwfix business put a gloss on falls at B&Q. So there remains a slight worry that, like an embattled husband, somebody has papered over the odd crack.

Source : Simon Goodley - The Observer

23 March 2014
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