Kingfisher, owner of DIY stores such as B&Q, has reported a slip in sales in the first quarter on the back of a slowdown in its French market.
The retailer which owns Castorama and Brico Dépôt stores in France said like-for-like sales in the three months to March fell 0.6 per cent, led by a 5.5 per cent tumble in France – a market which accounts for around two-fifths of its revenues.
Véronique Laury, chief executive, said performance in France remained “weak” as the country’s home improvement market has shrunk around 1 per cent at the start of the year.
Same store sales in the UK and Ireland were up 3.5 per cent, driven by Kingfisher’s Screwfix stores where sales leapt 12.6 per cent to £362m. B&Q sales rose 0.5 per cent in the period.
The company said it had also suffered a setback in its “One Kingfisher” restructuring plan which involves merging product ranges, supply chain functions, and IT systems across its businesses.
“We are experiencing some business disruption given the volume of change, as we clear old ranges, remerchandise new ranges and continue the roll out of our unified IT platform” said Ms Laury.
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