B&Q reports return to sales growth

Home improvement retailer B&Q posted its first quarter of underlying sales growth for two years today.

Home improvement retailer B&Q posted its first quarter of underlying sales growth for two years today.

The rise of 1.3% in the three months to February 3 reflected less promotional activity than a year ago and demand for new kitchen and bathroom ranges.

B&Q’s owner Kingfisher has been hurt by weak market conditions over the past two years, but said today it expected results for the year to the start of February to be “slightly ahead” of current market forecasts.

Across the group, which operates as Castorama and Brico Depot in France, like-for-like sales were ahead 2.5% in the company’s fourth quarter.

Chief executive Gerry Murphy added: “Kingfisher delivered growth in the fourth quarter despite continuing tough conditions in our biggest markets.”

Despite the profits guidance, shares were still lower today as analysts noted flat like-for-like sales at Castorama as well as continued price pressure in France, which it expects to continue into the new financial period.

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