Kingfisher brushes off Brexit with strong performance in UK - but has been struggling in France

 
Helen Cahill
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A view of B & Q 'do-it-yourself' store in West Lon
Brexit has not hit B&Q (Source: Getty)
rits are doing all the heavy lifting for Kingfisher's sales, as the business has brushed off Brexit - but faces trouble on the other side of the channel.


The figures

Kingfisher's like-for-like sales were up by three per cent but, as retail anaylst Nick Bubb points out, the results are "very mixed".

In the UK, overall sales were up 7.2 per cent, with Screwfix's sales growing by 13.3 per cent and B&Q's by 5.6 per cent.

However, the French business was troubled by "widespread industrial action and exceptionally wet weather", Kingfisher's chief executive said. Like-for-like sales were down by 3.2 per cent.

The business disposed of 30 per cent of its B&Q China business, bringing in net cash of £63m.

What Kingfisher said

Kingfisher's chief Véronique Laury said: "In the UK, the EU referendum result has created uncertainty for the economic outlook, although there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on our businesses.

"In France, widespread industrial action and exceptionally wet weather created a more challenging environment, after a more encouraging first quarter. We remain cautious on the short-term outlook."

What analysts said

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The wider plan for Kingfisher may be for an ever closer union between the UK and French businesses, but today's results reveal a clear divide.

"The UK sales figures are encouraging while those from France have disappointed amid poor weather and disruptive industrial action."

Fears that B&Q and Screwfix would be hit by Brexit "have proved unfounded", Salmon said.