B&Q owner takes only a small hit from coronavirus

The crisis has prompted more people to rediscover their homes
B&Q owner takes only a small hit from coronavirus

People keep their social distance while queueing outside B&Q at Mahon Point in Cork when the store reopened in May. Picture: Dan Linehan

The owner of B&Q has said that it only took a small hit from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as sales dropped 1.3% in the first six months of the financial year.

Kingfisher, which was helped by soaring online sales, said that pre-tax profit had reached £398 million during the first half, a rise of more than 62%, yet it still suspended its dividend because of the uncertainty.

Kingfisher said that it had seen an "adverse impact" in the first quarter, but that it recovered strongly in the second and is continuing to recover into the third quarter.

Thierry Garnier, the chief executive of Kingfisher, said: "The crisis has prompted more people to rediscover their homes and find pleasure in making them better.

"It is creating new home improvement needs, as people seek new ways to use space or adjust to working from home.

"It's also clear that customers are becoming more comfortable with ordering online.

"And delivering value to consumers is imperative against a challenging economic backdrop."

He added: "Our experiences through the crisis have reinforced the benefits of our strategic direction and have made us bolder in our priorities.

"We are fundamentally reorganising our commercial operating model to serve our customers better. We have accelerated our plans around e-commerce, with a focus on fulfilment from stores."

PA

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