Retailers battle for dwindling DIY

Published:  29 November, 2011

LONDON: Tomorrow will see the extent to which the DIY market is struggling with financial updates due tomorrow from B&Q and Topps Tiles B&Q sales in the UK and Ireland have come under pressure as the economic outlook deteriorates, but has managed to boost profit margins.

Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix in the UK and has operations in France, is consequently expected to report a near 10% increase of group retail profits to £263m. Investors will be keen to see if B&Q has started to feel any benefit from the closure of rival Focus.

Topps Tiles is set to report another fall in profits on Tuesday as it struggles against falling consumer spending. The City expects underlying profits at the UK's largest tile and wood flooring specialist to fall 19% to £13.2m in the year to 1 October.

The firm blamed falling consumer confidence but analysts said it was also suffering as DIY chains have stepped up their battle for market share. Topps currently has about a quarter of the tiles market but B&Q is understood to be increasing its share of the tile market.

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