UK Markets close in 7 hrs 38 mins
  • FTSE 100

    7,063.10
    +23.80 (+0.34%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    22,504.06
    +118.16 (+0.53%)
     
  • AIM

    1,257.90
    -3.14 (-0.25%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1558
    -0.0019 (-0.16%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3905
    -0.0003 (-0.0195%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    40,881.77
    +1,116.25 (+2.81%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,453.13
    +47.83 (+3.40%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,167.59
    +2.93 (+0.07%)
     
  • DOW

    34,230.34
    +97.31 (+0.29%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    65.87
    +0.24 (+0.37%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,792.40
    +8.10 (+0.45%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,331.37
    +518.74 (+1.80%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    28,602.05
    +184.07 (+0.65%)
     
  • DAX

    15,265.44
    +94.66 (+0.62%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,371.59
    +32.12 (+0.51%)
     

B&Q and Screwfix sales soar as Brits embrace DIY during COVID-19

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·2-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/08/04: A DIY store B&Q logo at a branch in London. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
B&Q sales have jumped. Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher (KGF.L) has seen its sales leap 17.2% in the three months to November.

CEO Thierry Garnier attributed the boom to strong DIY demand during the coronavirus crisis, “as consumers spent more time in their homes and focused on improving them.”

B&Q sales in the UK and Ireland were up by almost a quarter, with particularly strong demand for “weather-related” outdoor goods, with a heatwave in August. The figures were released in a trading update on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, strong sales to tradespeople boosted sales at Screwfix. It came as the construction industry benefited from strong pent-up demand after the first UK lockdown eased over the summer.

Watch: Why can't governments just print more money?

READ MORE: Halfords profits double as cycling booms

Screwfix opened 17 new UK stores in its third quarter to 31 October, and another four in the Republic of Ireland.

Sales also jumped in Kingfisher’s other markets and other brands, including in France, Poland, Spain and Romania.

“Overall, we believe that the renewed focus on homes is supportive for our markets,” added Garnier.

B&Q sales spiked the day before its trading update but lost ground after its publication on Thursday 18 November despite strong sales. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
Kingfisher shares spiked the day before its trading update but lost ground after its publication on Thursday 18 November despite strong sales. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

B&Q is classed as an essential retailer in Britain, exempt from the first nationwide lockdown and current England lockdown.

Kingfisher said its 1,370 stores worldwide were all currently open for both in-store purchasing and click and collect services. The company repaid £23m ($30.4m) in furlough wage subsidies to the UK government earlier this year.

READ MORE: AstraZeneca and Oxford University trial shows ‘strong immune response’ in all ages

B&Q sales growth year-on-year has been higher in November in the UK and Ireland than the previous few weeks, with England’s lockdown appearing to boost rather than dent demand.

But Kingfisher’s total like-for-like sales growth year-on-year has dipped from 16% and 25% in the last two weeks of October to 13.1% and 12% in the first two weeks of November.

The company’s shares (KGF.L) shed more than 3% as markets opened on Thursday, but soon pared back some of the losses. It was trading 1.8% lower at around 8.30am in London. The stock had seen strong gains on Wednesday in anticipation of the trading update.

Watch: What is inflation and why is it important?