Kingfisher sales boosted by the British heatwave

Press Release   •   Jul 24, 2013 10:55 BST

Kingfisher, the home improvement retailer that owns B&Q, today unveiled a 5.2 per cent increase in sales over the quarter, predominantly helped by the improved weather conditions.

Sales in the UK and Ireland rose 3.6 per cent, while sales of outdoor and seasonal products rose by nearly 20 per cent, representing almost 40 per cent of total sales. B&Q total sales rose 1.7 per cent.

Sales figures has revealed Britain's heatwave has prompted shoppers to splurge on new barbecues and garden furniture

Sales of budget charcoal BBQs jumped by 89 per cent on a year earlier, alongside a rise of 56 per cent for wooden outdoor furniture and an 82 per cent gain for hosepipes, according to the retailer.

Britons' sudden urge to overhaul their gardens after months when it was too cold and wet helped to reverse B&Q's recent sales decline.

Kingfisher had a dismal first quarter, reporting a sales fall of 4.2%, with bad weather dragging down sales of outdoor and building products

"Following a tough Q1, I am pleased to report that we have been able to capitalise on the better weather conditions in Q2, particularly in the UK, which has helped us to deliver growth," said chief executive Ian Cheshire.

But he warned that the broader economic environment was not helping his company.

"Underlying consumer confidence remains weak in our major markets, so we continue to focus hard on our self-help margin and cost initiatives. We are on track to deliver a first half in line with our expectations," he said.

With Kingfisher's trade arm Screwfix growing like-for-like sales by 6.6 per cent, the group's overall UK and Ireland revenues were up 2.5 per cent. However, this was not enough to prevent a 1.5 per cent fall in sales across the 23 weeks to July 13.

In France, where the group trades as Castorama and Brico Depot, like-for-like sales were 1.1 per cent higher in the 13 week period. Other international sales grew by 5.3 per cent, leading to a group-wide increase of 2.5 per cent.

The company has around 1,060 stores in nine countries in Europe and Asia and recently acquired 15 stores in Romania, its first new country in seven years.

Follow us on Twitter @CandMResearch issues news updates and report summaries covering all major industries and sectors. The service provides additional client monitoring and timely alerts to breaking industry and sector news leading the day's business headlines. News articles, written by our staff, contain additional analyst insight, providing value added insight for our readers. News updates and real-time alerts on newly-released market reports are also available from our Facebook page, Twitter feed @CandMResearch and RSS links. We also welcome inquiries from business journalists and the news media.