European home improvement powerhouse Kingfisher (KGF) puts on 2.12% (7.6p) at 365.6p after fluttering in with better-than-expected 3% second quarter like-for-like sales growth, driven by brisk business in the UK and Poland.

CEO Veronique Laury sees no Brexit impact yet, though she remains 'cautious on the short-term outlook'.


Click here to pick through the details of the Q2 update from Kingfisher, trading as B&Q and Screwfix in the UK and as Castorama and Brico Depot in France. Key takeaways from the quarter to July include impressive 7.2% like-for-like growth in the UK & Ireland, driven by 5.6% same-store revenue growth at DIY chain B&Q and a stellar 13.3% sales surge at Screwfix.

'In the UK, the EU referendum result has created uncertainty for the economic outlook, although there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on our businesses,' comments Laury (pictured below).


Kingfisher's update accompanies news of a 1.4% UK retail sales rise for July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Much stronger than economists predicted and following a 0.9% sales dip in June, the data shows UK shoppers have thus far brushed off the impact of the Brexit vote on 23 June.

Away from the UK, Kingfisher's like-for-like sales leapt 7.3% higher in Poland, reflecting supportive market conditions and well-received new ranges. However in France, 'widespread industrial action and exceptionally wet weather created a more challenging environment, after a more encouraging Q1'.

(c) Guillaume Murat

Like-for-like sales were off 3.3% and 3.1% at Castorama and Brico Depot respectively amid sluggish home improvement market conditions.

Web chart - KINGFISHER - Aug 16

There's much to admire in Kingfisher, making progress with Laury's 'ONE Kingfisher' transformation plan, which promises a £500 million sustainable profit uplift over five years and the return of £600 million to shareholders over three years.

However, the competitive threat facing B&Q is set to intensify as Wesfarmers (WES:ASX), owner of admired Australian hardware retailer Bunnings, completed its £340 million purchase of rival Homebase from Argos-owner Home Retail (HOME) in February. For more on the threat from deep-pocketed Bunnings, click here.

Issue Date: 18 Aug 2016