DIY retailer Kingfisher has forecast higher interim pre-tax profits as strong demand continued as lockdown restrictions started to ease.
Kingfisher, which owns B&Q, said like-for-like sales in the second quarter jumped 21.6 per cent, while year to date sales were down 3.7 per cent.
The group, which also owns Screwfix, said based on the strong sales, as well as cost reductions benefiting the first half of 2020, it anticipates half-year pre-tax profit to be ahead of last year.
In May, like-for-like sales grew 14.3 per cent, with UK and Ireland sales slightly ahead with a 15.5 per cent rise. June saw group sales increase further – by 25.1 per cent – as lockdown restrictions started to ease. UK and Ireland sales for the month grew 25.9 per cent.
Why it’s interesting
Kingfisher’s sales in the second quarter picked up as the government eased restrictions on retail due to the pandemic.
Kingfisher’s UK stores, as well as those in France, were closed from mid-March due to the lockdown.
However, it made click-and-collect and home delivery options available. E-commerce sales surged 202.1 per cent in May and 225.2 per cent in June. Stores gradually started to reopen in late April.
Although demand has strengthened through the year, Kingfisher said it would not provide guidance for the second half of the year due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
What Kingfisher said
In a statement the company said: “Based on the strong sales seen to date in the second quarter, combined with cost reductions benefiting H1 (some of which are non-recurring), the Company anticipates its half year adjusted pre-tax profit to be ahead of prior year.”
“Second half visibility remains low given uncertainty around Covid-19 and the wider economic outlook. As such, no specific financial guidance is provided for the full year 2020/2021,” the company said in a statement.”