// Home and DIY giant Kingfisher has seen profits and sales fall in the first half thanks to soaring inflation and supply chain issues
// The B&Q and Screwfix owner saw profits drop to £474m in the six months to 31 July
B&Q owner Kingfisher has reported a 29.5% drop in first-half profits as the DIY boom which started during the pandemic ends and inflation hits budgets, adding that it now faces a “more uncertain” macroeconomic environment.
Pretax profits at the DIY retailer slumped 30% to £474m in the six months to 31 July, down from £677m a year earlier, while operating profit fell 29.1% to £531m in the period.
Sales slipped by 4.1 % to £6.8bn compared with the first half of 2021, when home improvement boomed as nationwide lockdowns forced Brits to stay home, while gross profits slipped 7.4% to £2.4bn. However, the group said it had won market share.
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Profit margins dropped as the Screwfix owner grappled with rising raw material costs and supply chain pressures although Kingfisher did say it is back to ‘pre-pandemic levels for in-store product availability after supply chain issues left gaps on its shelves.
The company also said it was seeing resilience in outdoor and ‘big-ticket’ category sales trends despite the cost-of-living crisis.
Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said the group had made an “encouraging” start to trading in its third quarter, with like-for-like sales to September 17 down 0.7% on the year but up 15.2% on a three-year basis.
It said third-quarter trading was consistent with the full year 2022-23 adjusted pretax profit guidance of about £770 million set out at the start of the year although it has run several trading scenarios to take into account the potential for a more uncertain economic environment.
It said these point towards profit outcomes of £730 million to £770 million.
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