DIY group Kingfisher posted flat sales in the first quarter of the year, as stronger performance in the UK and Ireland was offset by ongoing weakness in France. For the quarter ended 30 April, reported total sales rose 0.3% to £2.8bn, while like-for-like sales rose 0.8%. Total sales were hurt by ongoing weakness in France, where total sales fell 5.1%, and like-for-like sales dropped by 3.7%. But the performance in its core UK and Ireland markets fared better as reported sales rising 5% to £1.28bn and 3.4% on a like-for-like basis, with B&Q UK & Ireland up 2.8% and Screwfix up 9.6%. 'The Group delivered positive sales growth in the first quarter, with sales of unified and unique ranges continuing to grow ahead of non-unified ranges. Screwfix, Poland and Romania delivered good sales growth while our performance in France was mixed within the quarter,' said Véronique Laury, Chief Executive Officer. 'This year we are focused on completing the building of our 'engine' and making our innovation more visible to customers. Our new outdoor range was rolled out to all markets in the quarter alongside a globally coordinated marketing campaign.' 'We are also excited to be launching several new ranges this year which are unique to us and will further differentiate us from our competitors, including surfaces & décor and bathrooms across the Group, and kitchens in B&Q. In addition, we are piloting a new convenience store concept which we look forward to demonstrating at today's Kingfisher Innovation Day.' 'At this early stage of the year our expectations for the full year are unchanged, and we remain confident in our ability to deliver significant financial benefits over time.'
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