Kingfisher, which is owner of DIY chain, B&Q and multi-channel trade tools retailer, Screwfix, has posted a 634 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the 12 months to January 2021 – from £103 mn to £756 mn – as millions of Brits turned towards home and garden improvements during lockdown.
Overall sales rose by 7.2pc during the same period – up to £12.3bn – and online sales were up by 158pc.
Chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Kingfisher is coming out of the Covid crisis as a stronger business, with an improved competitive position in all key markets, strong new customer growth and a step change in digital adoption. I would like to express my personal thanks to all our teams for their incredible efforts in the most testing of circumstances.”
The company has experienced very high demand for its products in both the UK and France, which have been under similar lockdown measures. Since the end of January, like-for-like sales rose by more than 24 per cent year on year. Kingfisher owns Screwfix counterparts Castorama and Brico Depot in France.
Mr Garnier added: “Current trading remains positive and, while visibility is limited for the year as a whole, we are confident of continued outperformance of our wider markets. The Covid crisis has established new longer-term trends that are clearly supportive for our industry – including more working from home, the renewed importance of the home as a ‘hub’, and the development of a new generation of DIYers – and we expect these to endure. With our strategic progress, we are well positioned to capitalise on these new and positive market trends.”
Today, Monday March 22, shares in Kingfisher rose more than 4pc in morning trading to 326p, bringing the value of the FTSE 100 company to £6.9bn. Stock has been steadily rising over the past 12 months, up from 143p this time last year.
Kingfisher has reinstated its dividend at 8.5p a share, compared with 3.33p a year earlier, but also warned of a slowdown in sales growth in the second half.