Customer Behaviour

Kingfisher has notched up £2.7 billion of sales in the first quarter, driven by strong growth at trade outlet Screwfix. The retail group, which also owns B&Q, said like-for-like sales at Screwfix rocketed 16.2% as it benefited from extended ranges and new store openings.

Like-for-like sales at B&Q rose 3.6% in the period and chief executive Veronique Laury, who is overseeing a turnaround plan at the retailer, said the results represent a “solid start to the year”.

She added: “In addition, I am pleased with the early progress we are making on our operational milestones for this year – the first year of our ambitious five-year plan.

“We continue to feel confident in our ability to deliver our plan, based on putting customer needs first, supported by the expertise and enthusiasm of our colleagues.”

Ms Laury is aiming to boost profits by £500 million a year. Kingfisher closed 10 B&Q stores in the period as part of plans to shutter 65 overall. Across the group, which also operates in France and Poland, like-for-like sales were up 3.6%.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The home improvement market is growing and buoyant sales at Screwfix reflect an increasing trend to call a man in rather than DIY.

“The group is just a few months into the five-year One Kingfisher efficiency programme, with benefits promised for the years ahead.”

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