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Gloucestershire Business News

‘Resilient’ sales for B&Q owner

The owner of B&Q and Screwfix has reported on a 'resilient' year of sales.

Sales and profits were down slightly for Kingfisher, which has B&Q stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud, and Screwfix stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester and Bourton-on-the-Water, for the year ending January 31.

Total sales were down 1.8% at £12,980m, compared to £13,059m for the year 2022/23.

Operating profit fell from £723m in 2022/23 to £580m for 2023/24.

Like for like sales were up by 0.8% in the UK and Ireland, with market share gains at B&Q, Screwfix and the group's other brand, TradePoint. But trading was hit by a 5.9% drop in like for like sales in France and a 9.5% drop in like for like sales in Poland.

Thierry Garnier, chief executive officer, said: "Despite all the macroeconomic and consumer challenges in our markets over the past year, we have stayed focused on our customers and our long-term strategy. In the UK & Ireland, B&Q, TradePoint and Screwfix each delivered resilient sales and market share growth - in particular very strong gains at Screwfix.

"We have continued the international expansion of Screwfix, with 22 stores now open in France and encouraging results so far. Our trade proposition trials in France and Poland, as well as our data, AI and retail media initiatives, are also delivering positive results - encouraging us to accelerate their roll-out.

"Looking forward, we remain confident in the attractive growth prospects of the home improvement industry and our ability to grow ahead of our markets. In the short term, while repairs, maintenance and renovation activity on existing homes continue to support resilient demand, we are cautious on the overall market outlook for 2024 due to the lag between housing demand and home improvement demand.

"Against this backdrop we will remain agile and focused on what is within our control - leveraging our strategy to deliver market share growth, driving productivity gains, and managing our costs and cash effectively."

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