Kingfisher, Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer, posted an 18-percent growth in profits driven by rapid expansion in its international operations for the 6-month period ending July 31, 2004.
Pre-tax profit rose 19 percent to BPD 345.9 million (approx. U.S. $619.8 million) beating market projections of BPD 339.9 million (approx. $609.1 million).
Retail sales went up 9.3 percent to BPD 3.9 billion (approx. $6.9 billion), compared to BPD 3.6 billion (approx. $6.4 billion) for the same period ending July 31, 2003. Sales in Britain and Ireland were up 6.3 percent or 3.1 percent from stores open for a year or more.
Sales at Kingfisher’s international operations surged 19.9 percent, compared to 10.7 percent for the same period ending July 31, 2003.
Kingfisher operates 569 stores in nine countries in Europe and Asia and also has a strategic alliance with Horbach, Germany’s warehouse retailer, which operates more than 110 stores in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.
Kingfisher’s home-improvement businesses include Brtish-based B&Q and Screwfix, as well as the French-based groups Castorama and Brico Depot.
“Kingfisher made good progress in the first half with double-digit sales and profit growth. In the UK, B&Q’s non-seasonal ranges sold well, offsetting a weaker performance in a difficult seasonal market,” Chief Executive Gerry Murphy said. “In France, Castorama’s revitalization continues and Brico Depot’s new catalog took the market by storm.”
Mr. Murphy commented that Kingfisher’s other European and Asian businesses also made good progress. Overall, 60 percent of Kingfisher’s sales growth in the first half of 2004 came from sales in Britain.
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