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B&Q owners in shake-up as sales fall

By Holly Williams

B&Q parent Kingfisher said it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan "at pace" as it reported a first quarter slide in sales at the DIY chain.

The retailer saw same store sales drop by 1.1% across B&Q UK and Ireland in the 13 weeks to May 2, with sales of outdoor seasonal and building products down by 4%.

It previously announced plans to close 60 stores across the UK and Ireland with the Boucher Road, Belfast store and another on Buncrana Road in Londonderry, both facing the chop.

A better performance from its trade-focused building supplies chain Screwfix, where like-for-like sales leapt 15.4% higher, helped the group's overall UK and Ireland division to increase comparable sales by 1.6%.

Chief executive Veronique Laury, who took over from Sir Ian Cheshire in December, said the group was making "good progress" with its overhaul.

The store closure programme is one of a number of "sharp" decisions as part of a revamp plan. She said: "Our first 'sharp' decisions are being worked on at pace."

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