Belfast Telegraph

Kingfisher weathers sales slump

By Peter Cripps

The unseasonal autumn weather and the closure of rival Focus DIY helped ease sales pressure at B-amp;Q owner Kingfisher.

The retailer, which operates 536 B-amp;Q and Screwfix stores in the UK and Ireland, said like-for-like sales were down 0.7% in the 13 weeks to October 29, an improvement on the 1.3% decline in the previous quarter. B-amp;Q's profits were up 20% at £46m.

Like-for-like sales at B-amp;Q were down 0.7% despite a 68% rise in garden furniture sales, which were boosted by the weather. But at the same time, B-amp;Q saw a 78% increase in demand for winter grit and snow shovels as households prepare for the possibility of another Arctic onslaught.

Non-seasonal sales were down 4%, reflecting the "generally weak consumer backdrop".