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Gloucestershire Business News

B&Q owner sees profits rise amid DIY boom

Kingfisher, the group that owns B&Q and Screwfix has announced that it will repay furlough cash, as it saw profits increase by 23 per cent during the first half of the year.

The business believes that the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a surge in Brits partaking in DIY, with like-for-like sales in the second quarter to July 31 up 19.5 per cent.

Chief executive Thierry Garnier said: "The crisis has prompted more people to rediscover their homes and find pleasure in making them better. It is creating new home improvement needs, as people seek new ways to use space or adjust to working from home."

Kingfisher also reported a boost in online shopping, with e-commerce sales increasing by 164 per cent in the first half of the year, now accounting for almost a fifth of revenue for the business.

First half adjusted pre-tax profit for the group reached £415million, up from £337million in the first half of 2019.

Despite this, total sales still fell 1.3 per cent to £5.92billion, impacted by store closures in the first quarter due to lockdown.

With £1billion of cash in the bank, Kingfisher added that they intend to pay back its job retention furlough cash worth £23million.

Mr Garnier added: "There remains considerable uncertainty around COVID-19 and our near term priorities have not changed - to provide support to the communities in which we operate, to look after our colleagues as a responsible employer, to serve our customers as a retailer of essential goods, and to protect our business for the long term. We remain proud of, and humbled by, the response of our teams to the current challenges.

"Looking forward, while the near term outlook is uncertain, the longer term opportunity for Kingfisher is significant. There is a lot more to do, but the new team and new plan is now established in the business and we are committed to returning Kingfisher to growth."

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