Kingfisher Has First Profit Drop in Four Years on France, U.K.

Kingfisher Plc (KGF), Europe’s largest home-improvement chain, reported the first decline in annual profit in four years as sales struggled in the U.K. and France, its two largest markets.

Adjusted pretax profit fell 11 percent to 715 million pounds ($1.09 billion) in the year ended Jan. 31, the London- based retailer said today in a statement. That compares with the 714.4 million-pound average estimate of 17 analysts compiled by Bloomberg. The annual dividend rose 7 percent to 9.46 pence.

The owner of France’s Castorama chain and B&Q in the U.K. has had sales falter as weakening consumer confidence weighs on shoppers’ desire to spend on their homes, while a wet summer slowed sales of seasonal products in the U.K.. The retailer has resorted to increased promotions, hurting margins.

“We have had a tough year, impacted by unfavorable foreign exchange, record adverse weather in the U.K. and declining underlying markets in each of our three key territories,” of France, the U.K., and Poland, Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire said in the statement.

The stock fell 1.5 percent to 283.3 pence in London trading yesterday. It has declined 0.3 percent this year, giving the retailer a market value of about 6.7 billion pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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