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Kingfisher Interim Figures - The Week Ahead

B&Q parent company Kingfisher reports interim figures. It endured a punishing first half for its DIY chain as sales were hit by poor weather and consumer cutbacks.

Despite the sales pressure, the firm's vigorous control of costs is expected to see profits move higher.

B&Q revenues in the UK and Ireland are expected to have dropped by 3.5% in the first half, following a 4.3% fall in the first 10 weeks of the second quarter.

The retailer's decision to run fewer promotions contributed to the downturn, while consumers have also been cutting back on 'big ticket' items. The second quarter blow followed a hit from freezing weather at the start of the year.

However, B&Q has kept tight control of costs in order to drive up profits in the UK and Ireland as part of an overhaul launched in 2008.

Analysts expect this to bear fruit, with most predicting the division's interim profits will rise 12% to £154m, following a 66% hike a year earlier.

Overall group underlying pre-tax profits are expected to rise to £342m, up 19% thanks to a stronger performance in France, where the company operates Castorama and Brico Depot.

Kingfisher is likely to update on its seven-point restructuring plan, including its store refurbishment targets and aims to improve margins.

However, the group is fighting against severe consumer pressures and signs of a faltering housing market recovery.

These threats were highlighted in the profit warning from Homebase and Argos owner Home Retail Group, which reported sales falls at both its UK chains.

Source :

10 September 2010
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