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Kingfisher backs outlook but first-quarter sales damped by wet weather

24th May 2023 10:30

(Alliance News) - Kingfisher PLC on Wednesday said drab weather conditions kept a lid on first-quarter sales of garden furniture, though it hailed a decent performance in the "big-ticket" product category.

Shares in the company fell 2.2% to 241.40 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

The DIY retailer said sales for the first-quarter ended April 30 rose 0.8% year-on-year to GBP3.27 billion. On a like-for-like basis, measured in constant currency, sales fell 3.3%, however.

"The unusually poor spring weather in the UK and France affected our seasonal sales in the quarter, impacting demand for items such as garden and outdoor products," Chief Executive Officer Thierry Garnier said.

Kingfisher owns retail brands such as B&Q and Screwfix in the UK and Castorama and Brico Depot in France. The latter also operates in Spain and Portugal.

Kingfisher said sales in seasonal categories, including items such as garden fixtures, fell 11% like-for-like during the first-quarter. Seasonal items made up 18% of Kingfisher's sales.

The largest contribution came from big-ticket items, which made up 82% of sales. Like-for-like sales in that category fell 1.3%.

"As we move through our key trading season, we are pleased to see that sales in our core and 'big-ticket' categories, which make up over 80% of our total sales, are showing continued resilience," Garnier said.

Kingfisher reported "improved trading since early April", helped by more resilience in big ticket sales, as well as a better showing in seasonal products.

The company left annual guidance unchanged. It is "comfortable" with sell-side analyst expectations of adjusted pretax profit of GBP634 million. It would represent a 16% fall from GBP758 million the year prior.

By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor

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