Kingfisher raises dividend after profits boost

B&Q owner Kingfisher beat profit forecasts and raised its dividend – helped by a rise in sales of eco-friendly products.

Pre- tax profit excluding and one-off items jumped 49 per cent to £547m in the year ended January, above the average forecast of £543m.

As well as raising its dividend for the first time in five years the company said it would double capital spending to £400m.

Its sales of eco products topped £1bn for the first time also helping to fuel the profit surge.

Chief Executive Ian Cheshire said the results were positive but warned that high street spending was still fragile.

He said: "Looking ahead, we remain cautious on the outlook for consumer demand across Europe.

"However, we are confident that our experienced management team, successful international strategy and buying scale mean we will be able to drive continued growth through our own actions.

"Recognising our improved profitability, cash generation and future growth prospects I am delighted that the final dividend payment will be increased, the first dividend growth for our shareholders in five years."