Warm weather, fine profits.

B&Q sales start to climb

Published:  04 June, 2009

EASTLEIGH: B&Q recorded its first sales increase in two years.

The DIY operator, with 322 outlets, doubled retail profit to £58m in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year.

The Kingfisher-owned DIY retailer said it is emerging from its renewal phase in better shape and is capitalising on the warm spring weather and the exit of competitors from the market.

Operating profits from Kingfishers's UK business – which also includes Screwfix – surged to £16m from £33m.

Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "We have made a good start to the year, boosted by better weather and a later Easter. B&Q in particular capitalised well on this increased demand, growing its market share and doubling its retail profit. While there is still work to be done I am confident that B&Q is emerging from its renewal phase in better shape to convert sales volumes into cash profits.

"Looking ahead, we are unlikely to see a weather driven seasonal bounce in demand again in 2009 and we continue to plan for a particularly tough balance of the year in our major markets.

"As a strong business with tight control over margins, costs and cash we are increasingly better placed to benefit when consumer demand improves."

Sectors that performed particularly well include outdoor products, up 30% and kitchen, bathroom and bedroom ranges.

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