KINGFISHER, Europe’s biggest home improvement retailer, said yesterday its underlying sales recovered in its second quarter, showing its resilience in the economic downturn even though heavy rain put British and French shoppers off buying seasonal ranges.
The firm, which runs the market-leading B&Q chain, said sales at stores open over a year fell 0.4 per cent in the 10 weeks to 7 July.
That compares with a first quarter fall of 4.8 per cent.
Like-for-like sales at B&Q UK and Ireland rose 1.6 per cent.
However, the firm said B&Q's gross margin is expected to be down, reflecting price cuts to clear horticultural stocks and other promotions to tempt shoppers into indulging despite the wet weather.
Shares in the retailer fell 1.3 per cent to close at 271.6p yesterday. Kingfisher stock has slipped 12 per cent in the last three months.
City A.M. Reporter