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Kingfisher - The Week Ahead

Stormy conditions currently battering the high street will come into sharp focus again this week with a trading update from B&Q owner Kingfisher.

Earlier this year the group, which has 330 stores in the UK and Ireland, said sales grew by 1.5 per cent to £1.1bn in the three months to 30 April, but the City is less optimistic about Thursday's figures, which will reveal second quarter trading conditions. Brokers have pencilled in a fall of as much 5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Chief executive Ian Cheshire has made no bones about the fact that he expected the rest of this year to be tough, particularly in the UK, and he suspected that the warm weather experienced during the spring may have brought forward many sales of outdoor equipment that may otherwise have boosted the summer months.

Retail analysts at Deutsche Bank also believe that the impact of Focus DIY's closing down sale may have hit B&Q during the second quarter as it tempted customers away. They believe this factor could account for as much as 3 per cent of any decline.

While they argue in the longer term the overall reduction in DIY shed space should be good news for B&Q, even if UK housing transactions do not recover, they have cut their 2011-12 profit forecast for B&Q by £18 million.

Source : Nathalie Thomas - News

18 July 2011
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