B&Q owner hit by cold snap

B&Q owner Kingfisher reported a “weak” start to its financial year today after the recent cold snap deterred customers in the UK and France.

B&Q owner Kingfisher reported a “weak” start to its financial year today after the recent cold snap deterred customers in the UK and France.

The company said the timing of an early Easter also presented a challenge in the first quarter of its new financial year.

It came as Kingfisher unveiled a 17.5% rise in pre-tax profits to £670.9m (€963.7m) in the year to January 29, in line with analysts’ expectations.

Despite the cold snap, chief executive Gerry Murphy said all of Kingfisher’s businesses were well-prepared for the peak spring and summer trading periods.

The company had warned in a trading statement last month of weakening consumer demand and more competitive trading conditions.

It said today that like-for-like sales at its stores in UK and Ireland rose 1.5% during the year. Sales of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom ranges were strong, but poor weather affected sales of B&Q’s seasonal products.

B&Q now has 163 original “supercentres”, 112 warehouse stores and 62 mini warehouses. It also owns Castorama in France.

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