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Weak sales in France weighed on sales at home improvements group Kingfisher in its latest quarter, partially offset by strong growth at its Screwfix chain.
The group, which also owns do-it-yourself group B&Q in the UK and Ireland and Castorama and Brico Dépôt in France, said like for like sales across the group slipped by 0.5 per cent at constant currencies in the three months to October 31.
Both of the French businesses posted a decline in like-for-like sales, down 4.1 per cent in the country in total to £1.2bn. In the UK, sales at B&Q dropped slightly, but a jump in sales at Screwfix — by more than 10 per cent in like-for-like terms and close to 17 per cent on a reported basis — helped lift overall UK sales by 2.5 per cent in total to £1.3bn. Total revenues were up 3 per cent from the same time last year to £3bn.
Chief executive Véronique Laury said:
Q3 has followed a similar course to the first half. We have seen strong growth at Screwfix and Poland offset by continued weak sales in France, alongside some business disruption from our ONE Kingfisher plan, principally reflecting product availability and clearance. We continue to act on the causes of this disruption, which we are confident will ease.
We remain on track to deliver our full year strategic milestones, for the second year in a row. With plans in place to support our overall performance, we remain comfortable with full year profit expectations.