Wednesday 18 September 2019 8:26 am

Profits slide and sales wane at B&Q owner Kingfisher

Kingfisher reported falling profits and sales this morning as its struggling B&Q chain held back the firm’s turnaround efforts.

Pre-tax profits at the group hit £245m in the first half of 2019, falling from £280m in the same period a year ago.

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Blaming “disappointing” performances in its core UK and French markets, the firm suffered a 3.2 per cent drop in sales at its B&Q arm.

While sales at its Screwfix outlets rose 5.1 per cent, overall UK and Ireland comparable store sales dropped 0.7 per cent.

“DIY chain B&Q continues to be a spanner in the works at Kingfisher; dragging like-for-like figures down, despite growth coming in from Screwfix,” said Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director from Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service.

She added: “Whether Thierry Garnier, who arrives next week to take over from outgoing chief executive Véronique Laury, will finish the job and turnaround the group, which has already spent three and a half years so far failing to make sufficient progress, remains to be seen.”

Garnier is set to take over as boss next week, following a troubled year for the group that has been tarnished by tough trading conditions and a shareholder rebellion over executive pay.

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Chairman Andy Cosslett said: “In Thierry Garnier, who joins Kingfisher next week, we have found the right individual with the right skills and experience to build on the platform that we are establishing. In the near term our focus will be on improving execution and delivering on our key priorities for the year.”