Kingfisher looks on bright side as sales return to growth

Kasmira Jefford
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KINGFISHER, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, said sales bounced back in the second quarter of the year as the hotter weather sparked demand for barbecues, flowers and garden furniture.

Like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland rose 2.5 per cent in the 10 weeks to 13 July, with total sales up 5.2 per cent, the company said in a pre-close statement yesterday.

This compared with a miserable first quarter when the cold weather dragged like-for-like sales down 4.7 per cent.

The group’s B&Q chain saw underlying sales increase by 1.9 per cent, driven by a 20 per cent jump in demand for outdoor and seasonal items.

Screwfix, the trade tools supplier that Kingfisher bought in 1999, saw like-for-like sales grow by 6.6 per cent in the period.

“Following a tough first quarter, I am pleased to report that we have been able to capitalise on the better weather conditions in second quarter, particularly in the UK, which has helped us to deliver growth,” said Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher’s chief executive, .

Like-for-like sales at Kingfisher’s French business, which trades as Castorama and Brico Depot, rose 1.1 per cent.