Kingfisher aided by international business

DIY group Kingfisher saw revenue and profit creep up in the third quarter, as the company was boosted by sales in its new international territories, such as Russia.

DIY group Kingfisher saw revenue and profit creep up in the third quarter, as the company was boosted by sales in its new international territories, such as Russia.

Revenue was up 0.8% at constant currency to £2.7bn, while retail profits on the same basis sneaked up 0.1%.

However, overall, like-for-like sales were down 2.8%.

In the UK, Kingfisher's biggest market, total sales declined by 0.7% to £1.05bn, and were down 3.8% in like-for-like terms.

Retail profit grew by 5.5% to £59m driven by a higher gross margin and cost cutting.

B&Q UK & Ireland's total sales fell by 2.3% to £906m, down 4.0% in life-for-life terms, reflecting the generally weak consumer backdrop in the UK and a particularly challenging environment in Ireland.

Retail profit grew by 1.7% to £45m as the firm benefited from higher gross margins and operating cost efficiencies including lower bonus provisions.

Screwfix grew total sales by 10.9% to £149m, despite the continued challenging trading conditions in the smaller tradesman market.

It benefited from the continued roll out of new outlets, the success of its 'click, pay & collect' scheme and a redesigned catalogue.

Retail profit there was up 19.8% to £14m, boosted by strong sales growth, higher gross margins and cost control.

In France like-for-like sales were drown 2.8%, but Kingfisher said it had outperformed the market.

The firm's 'Other International' division saw total sales increase by 6.8% to £569m supported by new store openings and strong growth in Russia, now the second largest business in this division.

However, with the exception of Russia, the uncertain European economic backdrop continued to impact like-for-like sales.

Retail profit across the division declined 2.4% to £58m.

B&Q China sales grew 2.6% to £96m - up 3.5% on a like-for-like basis - but its retail loss was £3m, mainly due to higher marketing costs.

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