Kingfisher profits rise on falling sales

Published:  24 March, 2011

LONDON: Kingfisher reported a 22.5% rise in annual profit to £670m on overall sales down 0.5% to £10.5bn in preliminary results for the year ended January 2011.

Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvement retailer, with trading brands B&Q in the UK and Ireland and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, said it planned to step-up expansion.

The group said it saw scope to expand its store network in existing markets to more than 1100 from 856, as well as opening up in new countries.

Ian Cheshire, group chief executive, said: "We have delivered another year of strong profit growth and cash generation in what continues to be challenging times for our customers around the world."

Profit increased in each of the three main operating divisions. Retail profits in France were up 12% to £348m driven by good sales growth and continuing margin initiatives.

In the UK and Ireland retail profits were up 11.8% to £243m. B&Q retail profit margin continued to improve, benefiting from margin and cost initiatives. 'Trade Point' nationally rolled out into all B&Q stores. Screwfix profits were up 24.7%, the company said.

Other International retail business saw profits up 34.3% to £171m driven by profit growth in Poland, Spain and Turkey. There was a reduction in China losses, "where the repositioning plan remains on track", the company said.

Mr Cheshire said: "Looking ahead, although I see no let up in the challenging environment in the short-term, I am excited by our future prospects. This year we will be stepping up the pace once more with a full set of activities in the final year of the first phase of 'Delivering Value' as well as mobilising the second phase, which is due to start in 2012."

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