Screwfix drives rise in sales at Kingfisher
Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, has announced surging sales at its trade outlet Screwfix after it bolstered its product range and opened new stores.
Shares increased by nearly 2% on the back of a 16.2% rise in like-for-like sales at Screwfix, helping the wider group to notch up £2.7bn of sales in the first quarter.
Veronique Laury, chief executive of the French-owned firm, said: "We have made a solid start to the year, trading in line with expectations.
"In addition, I am pleased with the early progress we are making on our operational milestones for this year.
"This is the first year of our ambitious five-year plan. We continue to feel confident in our ability to deliver our plan, based on putting customer needs first, and supported by the expertise and enthusiasm of our colleagues."
There are five B&Q stores in Northern Ireland and seven Screwfix shops.
The company has closed four B&Q outlets in the province in the past year.
Kingfisher said that sales at B&Q stores in the UK and Ireland were down 4.3%, reflecting its shop closures.
It also shut another 10 B&Q across the UK during the first quarter of the year - with around 40 now closed out of the planned 65.
The firm said that out of the 65 stores, it had been able to negotiate an exit to 41 leases. With the remainder, meanwhile, it passed on the remaining lease periods.