Belfast Telegraph

B&Q’s sales bounce back after torrid start to the year

The DIY chain’s parent company has not performed so well in France.

B&Q’s sales have bounced back after taking a hit due to torrid weather at the start of the year, but the DIY chain’s parent company has been held back by poor performance in France.

B&Q owner Kingfisher has posted group sales of £3.26 billion for the second quarter, representing like-for-like sales growth of 1.6%.

Like-for-like sales were up by 4.2% across the UK and Ireland, but fell by 1% in France.

Despite the company facing a “weak UK consumer backdrop”, B&Q’s sales rose 3.6%, while Screwfix’s sales climbed by 5.5%.

DIY store Castorama was the drag on sales in France, with like-for-like sales dropping by 3.8% over the period.

Kingfisher pinned the results in France on weaker footfall and the impact of a transformation plan under way in Castorama.

Chief executive Veronique Laury said: “We started our transformation two-and-a-half years ago and are on track to deliver our strategic milestones for the third year in a row.

“In the second quarter, I’m pleased that we grew our sales after the exceptionally harsh weather conditions in the first quarter.”

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Kingfisher chief executive Veronique Laury (Charles Best/Kingfisher/PA)

She said Kingfisher was bringing forward new plans to help its results in France during the second half of the year.

The results in the UK are a sharp turnaround from the first quarter, when the Beast from the East knocked B&Q’s revenues by 8.8%.

The DIY chain recently announced that it was investing £100 million as part of plans to lower its prices.

It has been cutting back on its promotional activity and is offering lower, everyday prices to its customers instead.

B&Q’s sales bump comes shortly after rival Homebase announced plans to close 42 of its stores, with the likely loss of 1,500 jobs.

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