Kingfisher profit hit by monsoon summer

DIY group Kingfisher today reported a plunge in pre-tax profits for the six months to 28 July, hurt by record wet weather in the UK.

Profit plummeted 15.5 per cent to £371m, down from £439m over the same period last year as seasonal product sales were down seven per cent, resulting in a higher number of clearance sales. The washout summer “significantly impacted” footfall in stores, Kingfisher said.

Adverse foreign exchange movements between the value of the euro and zloty also hit profits when converted back to sterling.

Half-year sales fell 3.3 per cent to £5.4bn.

Ian Cheshire, group chief executive, said today: "This has been a tough first half with unprecedented wet weather throughout the key spring and summer seasons in Northern Europe.

"This affected footfall and demand for outdoor maintenance, gardening and leisure products, which normally account for a significant proportion of our first half sales.”