Kingfisher profits rise on lockdown DIY

An increase in home improvements and DIY projects during lockdown saw Kingfisher’s adjusted pre-tax profits increase 23.1% in the first half of 2020 to £415m.

The parent company of B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, and Castorama in France, said the impact of the coronavirus in the first three months of the year had been offset by a “strong recovery” in the second quarter. This had continued into the third quarter with like-for-like sales rising 16.6% to 19 September.

In particular the company benefited from a 164% increase in online sales, with e-commerce now accounting for 19% of total group sales compared with just 7% at the same time last year.

Kingfisher attributed the improvement to the crisis prompting more people to “rediscover their homes” as well as creating new home improvement needs, “as people seek new ways to use space or adjust to working from home”.

However, it highlighted the continued uncertainty and concerns around coronavirus and the wider economic outlook, which limits the visibility on sales for the rest of the financial year.