Kingfisher share price falls as group warns on outlook and chairman retires

Helen Cahill
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Investors appear worried about Kingfisher's prospects (Source: Getty)

Kingfisher's share price was down 5.4 per cent by mid-afternoon after the B&Q-owner gave a gloomy economic forecast this morning.

The retail group also announced today that its chairman, Daniel Bernard, will retire. He will be replaced by Andy Cosslett, former chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group and Fitness First.

The figures

For the year ending 31 January, sales were up 2.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis, up from £10.3bn to £11.2bn. Underlying pre-tax profit increased 14.7 per cent from £686m to £787m.

Read more: Barclays to install ex-boss of B&Q-owner as UK chair

In the UK and Ireland, like-for-like sales grew 5.9 per cent to £4.98bn. However, sales in France lagged, down by 2.7 per cent to £4.25bn. Total sales in B&Q fell by 3.3 per cent to £3.68m due to store closures, a drop which was "partly offset by sales transference". Like-for-like sales at the homeware store were up 3.5 per cent.

Kingfisher upped its full-year dividend three per cent from 10.1p to10.4p.

Why it's interesting

Kingfisher's sales performance in different countries have been varying substantially for some time. The French business was hit by strike action last year, and this morning the company said it had a "cautious" outlook for the region due to the upcoming elections.

Read more: Kingfisher brushes off Brexit with strong performance

Political upset in the UK has not been a problem for Kingfisher, however. Sales in the UK remained strong despite the outcome of the EU referendum and B&Q store closures.

What Kingfisher

Véronique Laury, chief executive, said: "It has been a very productive and important year, a year which has again delivered sales and profit growth.

"Looking forward, the EU referendum has created uncertainty for the UK economic outlook and we remain cautious on the outlook for France, especially in light of the forthcoming presidential elections."

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