Wet weather dampens Kingfisher's annual results

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher posted a fall in annual pre-tax profit Tuesday in line with market expectations as wet weather in the UK dampened sales.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher posted a fall in annual pre-tax profit Tuesday in line with market expectations as wet weather in the UK dampened sales.

Profit before tax came to £715m for the 2012/13 period, an 11.4% plunge from the previous year's £807m.

Sales dropped by 2.4% to £10.5bn from £10.8bn, reflecting weak consumer confidence and a record year of rain in the UK.

"We have had a tough year, impacted by unfavourable foreign exchange, record adverse weather in the UK and declining underlying markets in each of our three key territories," Group Chief Executive Ian Cheshire said.

"Whilst we have been unable to fully offset these headwinds, the hard work of our teams and our firm focus on our established programme of self-help initiatives means we ended the year in good shape with net cash on the balance sheet, higher market share and having generated economic return for our shareholders."

The company rewarded shareholders with a full-year dividend of 9.46p per share, up 7.0% from 9.84p the prior year.

During the year, the firm launched an omni-channel platform for the Screwfix and B&Q arms to provide customers with multiple shopping channels through online, mobile internet devices, television and catalogues.

Screwfix sells power tools, electrical and plumbing supplies while B&Q sells kitchens, bathrooms, sheds, paving and gardening.

Kingfisher also completed the UK roll out of DIY training classes and launched a B&Q YouTube channel with over 100 'how to' videos.

"Looking ahead, although we expect market conditions to remain challenging, we will continue to actively manage the business, optimising the generation and use of cash and driving longer term success through our own actions," said Cheshire.

"I remain very confident in our prospects, with clear initiatives underway to make it easier for our customers to have better and more sustainable homes."

RD

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