Weak French economy leaves Kingfisher with flat sales

Kingfisher has seen flat sales for the 13 weeks ended 2 November, due to a poorly performing French economy. Profits in France dropped by 5.6 per cent over the period.

The owner of B&Q and Screwfix saw like-for-like sales in France of £1.17bn. Analysts at Deutsche Bank had expected a sales increase of 0.3 per cent reaching £1.2bn.

The company performed better in the UK with sales rising by two per cent to £1.1bn. The increase was largely driven by a strong performance from Screwfix which opened its 300th store in the third quarter.

In total like-for-like sales rose 1.4 per cent to £2.92bn.

Chief executive, Ian Cheshire, said:

Following a mixed first half, we have seen growth in both sales and profits in our third quarter, one of our most significant trading periods in the year. Whilst we have delivered sales growth in each of our geographies our markets remain challenging, especially in France where consumer confidence is still weak and with no obvious signs of an imminent improvement.