Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvement retailer, posted an 11.8% decline in third quarter profit, hurt by a weak French market and foreign currency movements. 

The firm, which trades as B&Q in Ireland and Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, said it remained cautious on the outlook, especially in France.

It added that it would continue to keep a tight control on costs. 

Kingfisher made a retail profit of £225m in the 13 weeks to November 1. That compared to analyst's average forecast of £227m and was down from £271m made in the same time last year.

The outcome was impacted by £13m of adverse foreign exchange movements when translating overseas profits into sterling. Total sales fell 3.6% to £2.82 billion. 

Sales at UK and Ireland stores open over a year rose 2.6% on a constant currency basis but in France, the firm's largest and most significant market, they fell 4%. 

That compared to analysts' consensus expectations of up 2.5% and down 3.6% respectively. 

The results are the last to be presented by chief executive Ian Cheshire. He is being succeeded by Veronique Laury, the head of Kingfisher's French arm, on December 8.