Kingfisher in plan to boost global growth

KINGFISHER yesterday unveiled a five-year plan to transform the business with massive growth and a campaign to breathe new life into the flagging UK DIY market.

The bold blueprint was unveiled as the B&Q owner reported a 22.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £670m in the year to 29 January.

However total sales remained at £10.5bn while there was a three per cent drop in like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland.

Chief executive Ian Cheshire said the company, which trades under the name Castorama in France, said more than 1,100 new outlets could be opened, with an expansion into China and India being eyed.

“We are stepping up a gear. We think we have more to come from our markets.” He said the French market was proving more resilient as individuals had more savings. Meanwhile, a scheme to train people in DIY skills would help B&Q.

Kingfisher also raised its full-year dividend by 28.5 per cent to 7.07p.