Tuesday 21 September 2021 9:53 am

Lockdown momentum: B&Q owner Kingfisher sales hit $7bn in six months

It appears home DIY has kept up its momentum post-lockdown, as B&Q owner Kingfisher’s sales have grown by more than £1bn in the past six months in comparison with last year.

Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix, performed well in 2020 despite the impacts of the pandemic, due to homebound consumers getting stuck into home improvements.

Sales grew 22.2 per cent to £7.1bn in the six months to 31 July, up from the £5.9bn it pulled in in the same period a year prior.

The group’s operating profit also surged 53.9 per cent to £747m, as its CEO Thierry Garnier hailed the “very strong” first half which had been buoyed by the group’s success online.

E-commerce sales jumped 21 per cent in comparison with last year but have soared 216 per cent in comparison with pre-pandemic levels.

“We have navigated well through the challenging operational impacts of the pandemic, retaining good product availability at competitive prices and operating safely,” Garnier added. “We have addressed many of Kingfisher’s past issues, with ‘fixes’ now complete in the UK and Poland.”

Kingfisher has also upped its interim dividend to 3.80p from 2.75p in the period.

However, the group saw its net cash sink more than 70 per cent from £1.5bn to £444m as it accelerates its investment and expansions plans.

Garnier said Kingfisher plans to bolster its digital investment in response to sturdy e-commerce results, Screwfix’s expansion in the UK and Ireland, as well as its expansion plans for its French hardware store chain Castorama in Poland.