B&Q owner Kingfisher warns on profit as shoppers cut back

Unseasonal weather and economic challenges blamed for first-half performance

Kingfisher issued a profit warning after shoppers in Poland reined in spending and consumer confidence in France hit a 10-year low, pulling down the first-half performance of the home improvement group.

The owner of B&Q now expects its pretax profit this fiscal year to be around £590 million (€683 million), down from its previous guidance of around £634 million.

Kingfisher stock fell more than 6 per cent in early trading in London Tuesday.

The company, which also owns the Screwfix chain catering to professional builders, said a combination of “unseasonal weather and ongoing macroeconomic challenges” had hurt its first-half performance.


Kingfisher had previously been a lockdown winner as people stuck at home spent money fixing up their homes and buying garden furniture. However, as a cost-of-living crisis has hit large parts of Europe, conditions have become more competitive. Kingfisher said like-for-like sales fell 10.9 per cent in Poland and 3.8 per cent in France in the first half.

Comparables sales in the UK and Ireland were more resilient, rising 1.7 per cent even as homeowners battle higher mortgage rates.

Chief executive Thierry Garnier is leading a turnaround of Kingfisher — the latest of several for the company — and is focused on being more price competitive, reducing costs and boosting online sales. - Bloomberg