// Home and DIY giant Kingfisher has seen profits and sales fall in the first half
// 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 seen during the pandemic slows.
Adjusted pre-tax profits at the DIY retailer fell to £474 million in the six months to 31 July, down from £677 million a year earlier.
Sales slipped by 4.1 % to £6.8 billion, however, the DIY group flagged that sales were still “significantly” ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Like-for-likes were up 16.6% on a three-year basis.
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The company also said it was seeing resilience in outdoor and ‘big-ticket’ category sales trends despite the cost-of-living crisis.
It also flagged that it had effectively managed both rising inflation and supply chain pressures and revealed it was back to pre-pandemic levels for in-store product availability after supply chain issues had previously left gaps on its shelves.
Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Kingfisher has delivered a very resilient first half of sales. While facing very strong comparatives from the prior year as well as a more challenging environment.
“Looking to the months ahead, although trading in the year to date has been in line with our expectations, we remain vigilant against the more uncertain economic outlook for the second half.
“We are therefore focussed on delivering value to our customers at a time when they need it most. You can expect continued strong execution, with a focus on growing sales and market share, effective management of our gross margin, and alignment of our costs and inventories to market conditions.”
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.
Although third-quarter trading was consistent with its full-year adjusted pre-tax profit guidance of about £770 million, it had run several trading scenarios to take into account the potential for a more uncertain economic environment.
These point towards profit outcomes of £730 million to £770 million.
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