Kingfisher profits down 25% amidst 'challenging backdrop' in France and Poland

The owner of B&Q and Screwfix has reported an adjusted pre-tax profit decline of 25 per cent to £568 million in its latest financial year.

Kingfisher said that lower sales had been impacted by a “more challenging” consumer backdrop in France and Poland.

While the home improvement giant said that over the next 12 months it expects repairs, maintenance, and renovation on existing homes to "provide resilience", it is cautious on its overall market outlook for the period because of a “given lag between housing demand and home improvement demand”.

With this in mind, the company said it expects adjusted pre-tax profits of between £490 million to £550 million for its current financial year, lower than analyst predictions.

The prediction continues an ongoing trend at the retailing business, which in November dropped its profit guidance for the year ended 31 January 2024 from £590 million to £560 million.

The company's chief executive Thierry Garnier explained that in France the market has been impacted by lower consumer confidence.

To address this, he continued, the retailer has made "significant adjustments" to its cost base and started to embed e-commerce marketplace and trade customer initiatives in the country similar to those rolled out in the UK.

“...in Poland, where we faced strong comparatives and a tough economic backdrop, sales trends are gradually improving in line with the consumer environment," said Garnier.

Conversely in the UK and Ireland, the company recorded positive sales and consistent market share gains, with particularly strong results at Screwfix.

Kingfisher predicts a further £120 million of cost productions and productivity gains to partially offset higher pay rates and technology investment over the next year.

The business has plans to open a further 40 new Screwfix stores across the UK and Ireland in 2024.

It also said that over the coming 12 months it would build a "data-led" customer experience and drive incremental revenue, profit and cash by embedding data and AI-powered solutions and retail media across the Group.

Kingfisher hopes retail media revenues to hit up to three per cent of its total e-commerce sales.



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