Kingfisher, the group behind global DIY stockists Screwfix, B&Q, Castorama and Brico Dépôt, saw sales fall slightly in Q1 2017, down 0.6% like-for-like, to £2.9 billion.
Sales in France - where the Castorama and Brico Dépôt brands operate - were weaker and disruption from the ONE Kingfisher plan were blamed for the small dip. However, Kingfisher stated that it was still on track to deliver Year 2 strategic milestones.
UK & IRELAND - Total sales +1.4%, L-F-L +3.5%
For those that have been following the fortunes of Screwfix, it will come as little surprise to find that the stockist continued to put in a strong performance in Q1 2017, with sales up 20.3% (l-f-l 12.6%) thanks in part to its digital offering, new and extended ranges and new outlets. B&Q in UK and Ireland fared less well, with sales down 4.6% (+0.5% l-f-l) due not least to the store closure programme. However, digital growth was strong (+31%) as were seasonal sales (+17.5%)
FRANCE - Total sales -5.0% (LFL -5.5%).
Both Castorama and Brico Dépôt saw sales fall for Kingfisher; Castorama fell -4% (l-g-l -4.3%) and Brico Dépôt sales fell -6.2% (l-f-l -6.8%). This reflected a wider trend in the home improvement market in France, according to Banque de France figures that quoted a fall of 1% in Q1 for the sector.
POLAND - Total sales +5.7% (LFL +3.5%)
“We have set ourselves up well for our transformation, which continues in line with our plans," said CEO Véronique Laury. "Strong performance in Screwfix and Poland continues, though performance in France remains weak. In addition, 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.
“However, we are on track to deliver our Year 2 strategic milestones. Early customer reaction to our new ranges is encouraging, especially in France where our new unique bathroom ranges are launching first. We are also progressing well with our IT platform, which is now live in nearly a third of our Castorama France stores and which will enable us to build a much stronger digital offer.
“We remain confident in the size of the prize and our ability to deliver our long term plan, both the financial benefits of the transformation and the benefits to customers, supported by the continued expertise and energy of our colleagues.”