Kingfisher DIY sales feel chill from Europe’s blizzards
Group trading as B&Q in Ireland sees sales fall 2.5% on back of ‘Beast from the East’
The winter snow storms forced 40 B&Q stores to close temporarily. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Kingfisher, Europe’s second largest home improvement retailer, said its quarterly sales were hit by winter snow storms which kept shoppers at home.
Shares in Kingfisher, which trades as B&Q and Screwfix in Ireland and Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, fell by as much as 3.5 per cent on Thursday immediately following the results.
March’s Siberian blast, dubbed the “Beast from the East”, hit sales of weather-related categories and forced the temporary closure of 40 B&Q stores and 74 Screwfix outlets.
Kingfisher said total sales in the three months to April 30th fell 2.5 per cent on a constant currency basis to £2.83 billion (€3.23 billion), while like-for-like sales fell 4 per cent, with 3 per cent attributed to the poor weather.
“It was a challenging start to the year with exceptionally harsh weather across Europe and weak UK consumer demand,” said chief executive Veronique Laury.
Kingfisher, which across Europe trails France’s Groupe Adeo, is in the third of a five-year plan to boost annual profit by £500 million (€570 million) from 2021, which Ms Laury said was on track.