The latest trading update from B&Q parent Kingfisher plc, for the fourth quarter, show a like-for-like sales decline for the multiple DIY chain despite a small rise in total sales.
While group total sales rose 4% (down 0.5% like-for-like) B&Q UK total sales fared less well, with a negligible 0.2% increase to £874m, which in fact translates to a 1.7% fall in like-for-like terms, “reflecting a tougher retail environment” said the company.
Group chief executive Ian Cheshire commented: “In the UK, we made good progress in a challenging market and B&Q finished the year in better shape after the biggest year of change in its history. By focusing on improving product choice, store environment and service for customers, B&Q now has a stronger platform to face what is expected to be a tougher consumer environment.”
Kingfisher expects to announce its full year adjusted pre-tax profit on March 27, in line with the current consensus of analyst expectations. Reported net debt is expected to be £1.6bn, which is slightly higher than previously expected due to the effect of exchange rates on around E1.1bn of issued debt.