Kingfisher's first quarter sales decline

Kingfisher reported a 0.4 per cent fall in first quarter sales to 2.6bn pounds as a result of weak consumer confidence and unseasonably cold weather in March and early April.

Kingfisher reported a 0.4 per cent fall in first quarter sales to 2.6bn pounds as a result of weak consumer confidence and unseasonably cold weather in March and early April.

The home improvement retailer's sales in France dropped by 3.8% to £1.08m, reflecting fewer trading days compared to the first quarter last year.

Gross margins were up 10 basis points driven by on-going self-help initiatives and tight cost control, including lower levels of variable pay. Retail profit came to £66m, compared to the previous year's £78m.

In the UK and Ireland, sales declined by 3.4% to £1.07bn in a slow market affected by weak consumer confidence and an early Easter coupled with record cold weather, through March and early April.

Retail profit fell to £50m from £74m in UK and Ireland.

Gross margins were broadly flat as benefits from on-going self-help initiatives were offset by investment in pricing. A strong focus on operating cost efficiencies continued across both businesses.

Other international sales increased by 5.6% to £476m, boosted by like-for-like growth in Russia and China and new store openings. Three net new stores opened, two in Poland and one in Spain, adding around 5.0% new space.

"Market conditions have remained challenging in the first quarter compounded by the effects of an early Easter and unseasonably cold weather across Europe," said Chief Executive Ian Cheshire.

"However, our performance towards the end of the quarter was encouraging following a return to more normal weather patterns.

"Looking ahead, we still have our key summer season to come and we are ready to capitalise on any improvement in conditions during this peak trading period. We will continue to focus hard on our margin and cost initiatives helping us to reinforce our value credentials with customers during these challenging times."

Shares fell 2.07% to 321p at 08:24 Thursday.

RD

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin
Bitcoin

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin

While bitcoin is having a quiet year – at least in relative terms – its potential to become the default cash system for the internet is undiminished, …
16 Sep 2020
Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?
Stockmarkets

Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?

Can we expect to see another lockdown like in March, and what will that mean for your money? John Stepek explains.
18 Sep 2020
Central banks want politicians to take charge – but what will they do?
US Economy

Central banks want politicians to take charge – but what will they do?

The US Federal Reserve has come to the end of the road in terms of what it can do to accelerate any recovery, says John Stepek. It's over to the polit…
17 Sep 2020