Kingfisher lowers profits guidance after 9% decline in French market

Kingfisher shares dipped six per cent Wednesday after a trading update for the three months ended 31 October showed weak sales performance in France.

Overall sales for the company in France, which operates under the banners Brico Dépôt and Castorama, fell by almost nine per cent during the 12-week period.

Sales also declined by almost four per cent in Kingfisher’s other markets including Poland and Romania, reflecting a 2.1 per cent change in total group sales to around £3.2 billion.

The one bright spot for the company was in the UK market – where it operates home improvement outlets Screwfix and B&Q – with a reported total sales increase of 3.3 per cent.

The group has now adjusted its full year pre-tax guidance to £560 million from £590 million.

“In France, our performance was impacted by a weak retail market, as well as a delayed start to insulation, plumbing and heating sales – to which Brico Dépôt is more heavily weighted – due to unusually warm autumn weather, and strong prior year comparatives in these categories,” said Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier.

He continued: “Reflecting the weakness of the French market, and notwithstanding our proactive cost actions, we have lowered our Group profit guidance for the full year.”

The profit guidance change comes as the second for Kingfisher in as many months.

In September, the company amended its forecast from £634 million to £590 million after it reported a pre-tax profit drop of around 33 per cent in the first half of the year to £317 million compared to £474 million in the first half of 2022.

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