European home improvement retailer Kingfisher reported resilient trading in its third quarter, boosted by strong demand for energy efficient products as consumers seek savings in their energy bills to help navigate a cost-of-living crisis.

The group owns B&Q and Screwfix in Ireland and Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other markets.

It said today its total sales rose 1.7% in constant currency to £3.3 billion in the three months to October 31, with like-for-like sales up 0.2%.

Kingfisher said it had also got off to a good start in its fourth quarter with like-for-like sales up 2.8% for the three weeks to November 19. It was continuing to win market share, it said.

"While the market backdrop remains challenging, DIY sales continue to be supported by new industry trends such as more working from home and a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency," chief executive Thierry Garnier said.

Kingfisher said across the group insulation product sales in the third quarter were up 24% year-on-year.

At B&Q, loft insulation roll sales were up 108% year-on-year, while at Screwfix, sales of thermostatic radiator valves were up 33.7% and sales of central heating controls up 20.7%.

Kingfisher has also launched energy-saving tools in the UK and France to help customers diagnose and access products and services to increase the efficiency of their homes.

It said it had seen a very positive take-up of these services so far, with B&Q taking nearly 1,000 appointment bookings within the first three days of launch.

Kingfisher, whose shares have fallen 27% this year, kept its financial guidance broadly intact, forecasting a year to the end of January 2023 adjusted pretax profit in the range of £730-760m, down from a pandemic boosted £949m in 2021-22.

It had previously forecast £730-770m.

The guidance takes account of investment to open Screwfix stores in France as well as higher labour and energy costs.

"We remain confident in both the resilience of our industry and in continuing to grow ahead of our markets," Garnier said.