Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, this morning announced that sales and profit surged last year, boosted by its click and collect offer, as consumers began DIY projects during lockdown.
Sales were up 7.2 per cent to £12.3bn and profit after tax was £592m, up from £8m in the previous year.
Adjusted post-tax profit in the year ending 31 January was £604m, up 51 per cent from £400m.
Kingfisher announced a total dividend of 8.25p, compared to its previous payout of 3.33p per share.
Online sales soared 158 per cent and now account for 18 per cent of total group sales, with click and collect rising 226 per cent, the B&Q owner said.
Click and collect now amounts to 78 per cent of all Kingfisher e-commerce sales.
The DIY chain’s share price jumped 3.45 per cent to 323.5p following this morning’s update.
Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Current trading remains positive and, while visibility is limited for the year as a whole, we are confident of continued outperformance of our wider markets.
“The Covid crisis has established new longer-term trends that are clearly supportive for our industry – including more working from home, the renewed importance of the home as a ‘hub’, and the development of a new generation of DIY’ers – and we expect these to endure.
“With our strategic progress, we are well positioned to capitalise on these new and positive market trends.”
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor said of the resuts: “Kingfisher has clearly made hay while the sun shines, but in some ways the hard work is only just beginning. The clear initial tailwinds from the pandemic are unlikely to be repeated with the initial surge of demand now over.
He added: “From a structural perspective, it remains to be seen whether the likely return to the office will halt such strong growth, or whether the fact that home working will still remain to some extent provides future opportunities”.