Kingfisher has reported a rise in half year sales and profits as its progressed with its £800m five-year plan to overhaul the business.
During the six months ended 31 July 2016, the DIY group reported sales up 2.7% to £5.75bn and retail profit growing 8.7% to £464m.
In its UK & Ireland division, sales rose 3.1% to £2.61bn with like-for-like sales jumping 6.7%. Total sales at B&Q slipped 1.9% overall to £2bn due to planned store closure but on a like-for-like basis they were up 4.6%.
Meanwhile, total sales at Screwfix grew by 24% (+14.7% LFL) to £612m, driven by strong growth from its specialist trade desks exclusive to plumbers and electricians, strong digital growth, and the continued roll out of new outlets (20 net new outlets were opened, taking the total to 477).
The group said that following the outcome of the EU referendum result, there had been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on its businesses. It added that its ‘ONE Kingfisher’ transformation plan, announced earlier with the aim boosting profits by £500m a year from 2021, was seeing good early progress. The plan includes unifying its product offering across the group, improving its ecommerce capabilities and efficiency, and closing underperforming stores.
Véronique Laury, Chief Executive Officer, said: “It has been a productive first half. We have delivered a good ‘business as usual’ result with both sales and profit growth.
“Looking longer term, we are starting to build solid foundations to enable us to deliver our five year transformation, which is our key growth driver. We are making good progress on our strategic milestones for this first year and we are on track. The level of transformation activity will increase significantly, however given the expertise and energy of our colleagues we continue to feel confident about the challenges ahead.”