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B&Q owner Kingfisher sees no evidence of Brexit impact on demand as profits rise

Published 20/09/2016

B&Q's like-for-like sales rose 4.6%
B&Q's like-for-like sales rose 4.6%

B&Q owner Kingfisher has reported a rise in first-half profits following a "productive" six months, adding that there has been no clear evidence of a Brexit-induced slowdown in demand.

Pre-tax profits at the group, which also owns Screwfix, rose 10.6% to £427 million during the period.

Like-for-like sales grew 3.3% across the company, driven by another strong performance by Screwfix, where comparable sales rocketed 14.7%. B&Q's like-for-like sales rose 4.6%.

Group sales grew 2.7% to £5.75 billion on a constant currency basis.

Chief executive Veronique Laury said: "It has been a productive first half. We have delivered a good 'business as usual' result with both sales and profit growth.

"In the UK, the EU referendum has created uncertainty for the economic outlook, even though there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on our businesses. In France we remain cautious on the short-term outlook."

In France, where it trades as Castorama, Kingfisher has been hit by industrial action and wet weather and the firm said it remains cautious on the country's short-term outlook.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "So far this year, the French businesses have disappointed, but the group's UK performance is strong and momentum is building in other international markets, particularly Poland.

"In the longer term however, it is the relative success of Kingfisher's own DIY improvement plans that will dictate the group's future."

As part of her revival plans, Ms Laury is aiming to boost profits by £500 million a year by 2021.

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