Merchant shares up but retailers slide

Published:  02 May, 2012

LONDON: Kingfisher’s shares fell yesterday by 0.3% to 289.6p on fears that a month of bad weather in the UK had damaged sales.

“The shares may weaken further as the market realises just how bad the first quarter could be,” said Deutsche Bank, Kingfisher’s house broker. It forecast same-store sales for its B&Q chain to have slumped 10%. That would cut Kingfisher’s quarterly earnings by £32m, Deutsche said. However, it anticipated that management would have cut staff costs and advertising to protect profit margins and keep the damage close to £10m, resulting in first-quarter group profit of £170m.

Ahead of its full-year results, Homebase owner, Home Retail Group was down 5.3% to 101p. Investors were unnerved by reports that Home Retail had brought in OC&C Strategy Consulting to review its Argos business.

Wolseley rose 3.4% to £24.23 boosted by results from US building materials peer Masco Corporation.

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