Profits hit by sales drop in UK and French markets and foreign currency movements
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has reported a six per cent drop in third quarter profits as sales dropped in its core UK and French markets.
The owner of the B&Q chain said it made retail profits of £257 million in the 13 weeks to October 27, against £273 million for the same period a year ago.
The third quarter profits results, which were below analysts' average forecasts of £255 million, were further dented by a £16 million provision on foreign exchange movements converting euro and Polish zloty profits to sterling.
Total sales were down 3.9 per cent to £2.71 billion and sales were down 3.8 per cent in the UK and Ireland year on year and and by 2.8 per cent in France, which is the group's biggest market.
Earnings in France were down 9.2 per cent to £140 million.
However retail profits from its UK and Ireland division rose 5.7 per cent to £59 million, despite the drop in sales which the group said was achieved through cost cutting which widened margins by 0.5 per cent.
Kingfisher's results were better at its 'international' division, though sales were still down 0.8 per cent year on year and profits were down 8.2 per cent when currency movements were applied and by 2.4 per cent at constant currency rates.
The group, which opened its 1,000th store in the third quarter, operates in eight countries across Asia and Europe.