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FTSE 100: B&Q owner Kingfisher sales boosted by DIY energy efficiency drive

Kingfisher  LONDON, UK - MAY 15: General view of customers practising social distancing after the store adopted safe measures to protect both customers and staff at home improvement store B&Q in Chiswick as lockdown restrictions start to ease after 7 weeks on May 15, 2020 in London, England. The chain, part of the Kingfisher Group was classed as an essential retailer during the coronavirus lockdown. Shops were close in March but the chain was offering “contactless” click and collect services. Now as restrictions are eased in the eighth of Lockdown, all 288 UK B&Q stores are now open. Following the example of supermarkets, B&Q is limiting the number of customers in store at any one time and has put strict social distancing measures in place. These include sanitiser stations for trolleys; safe queuing 2 metres apart before entering the store; 2 metre navigational markers on the floor and directional arrows to guide customers through the store; perspex screens at checkouts; and card and contactless payments only. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Ming Yeung/Getty Images)
Kingfisher owns B&Q and Screwfix in Ireland and Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other markets. Photo: Ming Yeung/Getty (Ming Yeung via Getty Images)

B&Q parent firm Kingfisher (KGF.L) has seen demand for energy efficient products jump, as UK households try to curb their energy bills.

The company, which also owns Screwfix, TradePoint and Castorama Poland chains, revealed that total sales grew by 0.6% to £3.26bn ($3.93bn/€3.78bn) over the three months to 31 October, compared with the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales were 0.2% higher for the quarter.

Kingfisher added that it has seen a “good start” to trading in the new quarter, with like-for-like sales growth of 2.8% over the three weeks to 19 November.

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“While the market backdrop remains challenging, DIY sales continue to be supported by new industry trends such as more working from home and a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency.

“DIFM and trade activity also continues to be well supported by robust pipelines for home improvement work,” CEO Thierry Garnier said.

In the three months to 31 October, sales were significantly ahead of pre-pandemic levels with a like-for-like uplift of 15.3% on three years ago.

However, B&Q’s like-for-likes were down 3.5% in the quarter compared to last year but up 13.1% on a three-year basis.

Sales dropped by 2.3% in the UK, its biggest market, to £1.55bn, and inched just 0.5% in France, where Kingfisher owns Castorama and Brico Depot, to £1.1bn. Elsewhere overseas, sales rose 6.7% to £621m.

The group said trading in the UK and Ireland was adversely impacted by the abnormally warmer weather in October and the Queen’s funeral in September.

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The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) listed group lowered the top end of its guidance for full-year 2022/23 adjusted pre-tax profit to a range of around £730m to £760m from £730m to £770m before.

“Competitive pricing remains a priority. With our customers facing rising living costs, we are determined to make home improvement affordable and accessible — particularly through our own exclusive brands which represent 45% of our sales,” Garnier added.

Watch: Pensioners start to receive up to £600 from the government to help with energy bills