Thursday 20 May 2021 9:21 am

Lockdown DIY: B&Q owner Kingfisher nails sturdy sales

Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, has reported sturdy sales of £3.4bn this morning as lockdown measures pushed people to get creative with DIY and home renovations.

Total sales soared 61.9 per cent in the group’s first-quarter results to 30 April today, which reflected the DIY fever that caught many during the last lockdown.

Shares dipped 1.44 per cent this morning, however, to 370.90p per share.

B&Q alone saw its sales surge 82.7 per cent, taking home £121.2m. While Screwfix secured £615m in sales, with customers prepping for a, hopefully, lockdown-free summer.

Despite nailing strong sales, the pandemic alongside the Suez Canal container ship blockage have placed ‘considerable strain’ on the supply of goods, the group said.

The cost and availability of shipping containers have particularly hindered the supply chain, which the group expects to continue for at least the next six months.

“With the strong start to the year, we now anticipate first half sales and adjusted pre-tax profit to be ahead of our previous expectations. Whilst the second half of the financial year remains naturally uncertain, we continue to see supportive long-term trends for our industry and are confident of continued outperformance of our wider markets,” chief executive officer Thierry Garnier said.

A number of B&Q showrooms were closed from late December due to restrictions, which pushed the company to explore a ‘virtual sales model’ to sell its kitchens and bathrooms.

Since the turn of the year Kingfisher has planned thousands of virtual showroom sessions, meanwhile, its e-Commerce sales were up 63 per cent – with a two-year growth of 258 per cent.

“e-Commerce continues to be our fastest-growing channel with two-year growth of over 250 per cent, now accounting for 21 per cent of group sales,” the CEO added.

With all Kingfisher stores now open, the group anticipates a higher half year adjusted pre-tax profit of around £580m to £600m.