Kingfisher profits rise, but UK sales fall
Published: 26 March, 2012
LONDON: Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvement retailer reported a 19% rise in annual profit.
Kingfisher, which owns B&Q in the UK and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, made £797m last year but sales fell by 1.4% in the UK and Irish Republic.
The company saw solid growth in France, where like-for-like sales grew 3.7%.
Kingfisher has been investing in its Screwfix chain of stores in the UK, opening 53 shops last year - twice as many as planned.
Ian Cheshire, group chief executive, told the BBC's Today programme: "We spent, in the UK last year, £190m investing in Britain and in the coming year we're particularly investing in Screwfix, our smaller format business, because we think there are still enormous opportunities to gain share.
"There are always opportunities, even in flat markets, and I think we are well positioned."
The company hopes to drive down costs further by sourcing more products direct from suppliers in China and other low-cost nations.>