Kingfisher to meet profit forecasts though sales worsen

Thursday 21 February 2013 17.11
Kingfisher sales down 3.4% in its fourth quarter
Kingfisher sales down 3.4% in its fourth quarter

Kingfisher said it would meet year profit forecasts even though underlying sales declines worsened in its fourth quarter.

The group is Europe's biggest home improvements retailer. It runs B&Q in Ireland and Britain and trades as Castorama and Brico Depot in France and elsewhere.

It said sales at stores open over a year fell 3.4% in the 14 weeks to February 2. That compares to a third quarter fall of 2.8%.

In Britain, like-for-like sales at B&Q fell 6.4% - worse than analysts' consensus forecast of down 4.5%.

In France, Kingfisher's biggest market, like-for-like sales fell 0.4% at Castorama and 4.6% at Brico Depot. Analysts' consensus was for declines of 1.6% and 5.3% respectively.

Earlier this month, an interim examiner was appointed to B&Q Ireland’s nine home improvement stores. Two of the stores - Athlone and Waterford - are to be closed as part of cost-cutting proposals.

The company employs 690 in Ireland, made up of 190 full- time positions and 500 part-time jobs, in stores in Cork, Galway, Liffey Valley in Dublin, Limerick, Naas, Swords and Tallaght in Dublin, Athlone and Waterford.