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Kingfisher expected to to have benefitted from early Easter in Q1

B&Q London - Michaelpuche shutterstock_250264435 725 x 500

A first quarter update from B&Q owner Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) is likely to be keenly analysed by investors as it will throw further light on the currently under pressure UK retail sector.

The update covers the long Easter weekend - not surprising a key trading period for DIY retailers. The group also owns rapidly expanding Screwfix.

The update is also likely to provide insight into the actions of UK householders in terms of upgrading homes and gardens, and the state of the building sector more generally.

Broker Numis says the group, which is trying to turn itself round, should have benefited from the early Easter but the broker expects that colder temperatures in Northern Europe to have delayed the onset of what it calls the important 'gardening season'.

"In the past, this has often reversed out in Q2. The UK business will remain underpinned by the exceptional growth of Screwfix (now more than 20% of divisional sales) and LFL at B&Q should gain from its own and Homebase’s store closure programmes," said analyst Matthew Taylor, who rates the share 'reduce', targeting 325p.

As reported earlier this year, retail profit for the year to end January was up 7.4% to £746mln largely due to a good performance from Screwfix and a stable overall performance in France. But statutory profit for the year was £512mln, over 20% down from £644mln in 2014.

The Share Centre said: "The group beat market expectations with its full year results, but the weak performance of the French operations remain a drag and investors will be keen tohear how that part of the group is performing." It rates KGF a 'hold'.

Image: Michaelpuche / 

Source : Proactive Investors

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23 May 2016

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