B&Q owner boosted by summer sun

KINGFISHER, the owner of DIY chain B&amp;Q, yesterday reported a surprise rise in like-for-like sales in the second quarter, as cash-strapped consumers snapped up summer accessories thanks to a spell of barbeque weather.<br /><br />Kingfisher, which also operates Castorama in France, said it grew its market share in the 10 weeks to 11 July, but that it remained cautious on the outlook for consumer spending.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s tough out there, but a spell of barbeque weather and people&rsquo;s renewed enthusiasm for DIY has clearly been helpful. But I believe it will be some time before we see more general spending improve in the wider economy,&rdquo; said chief executive Ian Cheshire.<br /><br />Analysts at Credit Suisse said the consensus consensus profit forecast for the group&rsquo;s year to the end of January 2010 is now likely to rise to &pound;420m, a 12 per cent increase.<br /><br />This compares to a &pound;368m profit the group reported last year.<br /><br />At B&amp;Q, sales at stores open more than a year rose by 0.7 per cent in the 10 weeks to 11 July compared to the same period last year. This beat an analysts&rsquo; consensus forecast of a 3.5 per cent fall. Sales at Castorama fell by 0.8 per cent, versus a consensus forecast of a 2.5 per cent fall.