Forex and weather continue to hurt Kingfisher

Home improvement retail company Kingfisher reported a decline in like-for like fourth quarter sales as the group battled against weak consumer confidence, unfavourable foreign exchange and poor weather in the UK.

Home improvement retail company Kingfisher reported a decline in like-for like fourth quarter sales as the group battled against weak consumer confidence, unfavourable foreign exchange and poor weather in the UK.

The DIY retailer, which operates the B&Q and Screwfix chains, said lfl sales fell 3.4% on a constant currency basis but rose 1.5% on a reported basis. Underlying sales in UK and Ireland fell 5.8% during the quarter. In France sales were down 2.4% while other international rose 0.3%.

Total fourth quarter sales rose 1.5% for the 14 weeks to February 2nd 2013 compared to the 13-week period last year.

Lfl sales at B&Q fell a worse than expected 6.4%, "reflecting the generally weak consumer backdrop in the UK and a particularly challenging environment in Ireland where our nine stores are now subject to an Examinership process," the group explained.

Equivalent sales at Castorama slid 0.4% while Brico Depot, for trade professionals and heavy DIYers, fell 4.6% as the building market slowed.

Otherwise the group said it expects full year adjusted profit before tax to be in line with the consensus of analyst expectations.

Chief Executive Ian Cheshire said: "We have had a tough fourth quarter, ending what has been a tough year impacted by unfavourable foreign exchange, particularly poor weather in the UK and weaker consumer confidence in our major markets.

On a brighter note, he added: "We end the year in good shape with a strong balance sheet and higher market share. Looking ahead we will continue to actively manage the business in these challenging markets with particular focus on improving our customer offer and optimising our cash generation."

CJ

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