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Kingfisher First-Half Earnings Slip After Cold First Quarter

Kingfisher Plc (KGF), Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer, said first-half earnings fell as a cold spring across Europe and weak consumer confidence in major markets damped sales.

Adjusted profit before tax in the 26 weeks ended Aug. 3 fell 1.6 percent to 365 million pounds ($574 million), the London-based owner of the B&Q and Castorama chains said today in a statement. The median estimate compiled by Bloomberg from eight analysts’ estimates was 367 million pounds.

Still, Britain’s longest heat wave in 18 years boosted sales in the second quarter at stores open at least a year as customers stocked up on garden furniture and barbecues, Kingfisher said July 24. This followed a 4.2 percent drop in first-quarter revenue as the unseasonally cool weather deterred shoppers from outdoor projects.

“After a difficult first quarter, in which sales and profits were affected by record bad weather, we were able to capitalize on the better weather in the second quarter particularly in the U.K., to grow quarterly profits and so deliver a broadly flat result across the half,” Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire said in the statement.

“Looking ahead, we remain ready to capitalize on any improvement in conditions or opportunities as they arise, including the potential pick up in the U.K. housing market.”

Kingfisher’s shares have gained 48 percent this year and closed at 420 pence yesterday in London for a market value of 10 billion pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

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

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