Kingfisher pretax profit hurt by weak French sales

Kingfisher pretax profit hurt by weak French sales”

Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvement retailer, has today reported a better-than-expected rise in first-half profit but said it was cautious on the second-half backdrop in both the United Kingdom and France.

Kingfisher saw solid growth at its Screwfix brand in the United Kingdom and also in Poland, but this was offset by a 5% fall in sales in France, where it operates Castorama and Brico Depot stores.

Shares in retail group Kingfisher outperformed the market in early trading, despite the firm's reporting of a 5.9% fall in half-year profits.

Kingfisher is in the second year of a plan to boost annual profit by 500 million pounds from 2021.

In the first half, underlying pre-tax profit was 440 million pounds, compared to 436 million pounds a year ago.

That compared to analysts' average forecast of £426-436m made in the same time previous year.

The results reflected about 2% LFL impact from business disruption, albeit with an overall improving trend, and continued weaker sales in France.

Adjusted pre-tax profit was 394 million pounds, compared to 418 million pounds a year ago.

She added: " For the full year, we have self-help plans in place to support our overall performance and remain comfortable with full year profit expectations, though we remain cautious on the second half backdrop in the United Kingdom and France".

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