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European home Improvement retail group, Kingfisher has reported a 5.2% uplift in sales to £11,125million in its full year results.
Owner of B&Q, Screwfix and Tradepoint, Kingfisher total sales in the UK and Ireland were up 2.7% to £4,363million, supported by growth in the tradesman market, and with Screwfix delivering a performance of 17.6% sales increase to £665million.
Screwfix sales have benefitted from extended opening times, a roll out of 60 additional stores taking the total to 335, and a mobile ‘Click, Pay & Collect’ service.
Retail profit growth of Kingfisher UK & Ireland was up 3.4% to £238million.
B&Q UK & Ireland delivered flat sales in a slower retail market, with sales up 0.4% to £3,698million and TradePoint showed sales growth of 7%, compared to last year.
However, B&Q is set to continue its ‘rightsizing’ programme, having reduced a store size by 50% but improved its sales density by 75%. It sold the non-operational space to a grocer in February 2014 for £32million. A second store has now received planning permission and the company is seeking planning permission for another 16.
Kingfisher's group chief exectuive, Sir Ian Cheshire said: "We finish a challenging year in good shape, with our self-help programme meaning we have grown profit and economic return, improved our balance sheet strength whilst also investing in lower prices for our customers and improved convenience. The economic backdrop was generally soft across Europe for much of the year, particularly in France, our most significant market.
"Looking ahead we are well placed to benefit from a pick-up in consumer spending as Europe's economies return to growth. Our prospects remain bright, giving us confidence to invest in the business and actively manage our portfolio, including expanding into new markets, whilst also commencing a programme of returning surplus capital to our shareholders, alongside the healthy annual dividend."