B&Q sales down as high street delivers early promise

Home improvement retailer B&Q has reported a decline in like-for-like sales while high street concept is delivering encouraging results.

According to the latest Kingfisher, parent company of B&Q, final results for the year ended 31 January 2023, total group sales were down 0.9% to £13bn from £13.1bn against the same period last year. Pre-tax profit declined 39.3% to £611m from £1bn.

UK & Ireland sales, which consist of B&Q and Screwfix, were down 6.9% on a like-for-like basis, with B&Q sales down 8.8%. UK & Ireland retail profit fell 24% to £603m.

During the period, a new e-commerce marketplace model was successfully launched at B&Q, while high street concept store tests for B&Q in the UK continue to deliver encouraging learnings and results.

For B&Q in the UK, the group believes there are around 50 catchments or geographic ‘white spaces’ where B&Q is currently under-represented. B&Q’s trade-focused banner, TradePoint, is the Group’s fastest growing banner over the last three years with a 3-year LFL of +31.5%, reaching 22% sales penetration within B&Q. The business aims to extend its presence within B&Q’s existing stores in the UK, having opened 30 new trade counters over the last three years and launching in Ireland in all B&Q stores in FY 22/23.

Thierry Garnier, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Across all our markets, sales have remained resilient in both DIY and DIFM/trade channels, with like-for-like sales 15.6% ahead of pre-pandemic levels. We have maintained a sharp focus on pricing to deliver value to our customers during this challenging period for household finances, while at the same time managing our cost inflation pressures effectively. Strong supply chain management has ensured good product availability and a firm grip on our inventories.

“We continue to execute our strategy at pace and invest in our multiple growth opportunities. We are proud of the progress our teams have made during the year, and since the start of our ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ strategy. Our e-commerce sales have increased by 146% over the last three years and we have enhanced our online proposition with the launch of marketplace offerings in the UK, Spain and Portugal, which are all performing strongly. Across the Group, we are strengthening our proposition for trade customers, building on the success of B&Q’s TradePoint and the accelerated expansion of Screwfix. Whilst it’s still early days for Screwfix’s ambitions in France, we are happy with the results of the first few months of operations and planning for up to 25 more store openings this year. We are also building on our leadership position in Poland and the attractive potential of this market by opening seven more Castorama stores in 2023.

“We remain confident in both the growth of our industry, and in our strategic priorities supporting growth ahead of our markets. And we are announcing today our new medium-term financial priorities, focused on growth, cash generation and higher returns to shareholders.”

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