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Kingfisher hit by crisis and currency exchange


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Kingfisher hit by crisis and currency exchange

Kingfisher, Europe’s largest home improvements retailer, suffered an eleven and a half percent fall in annual profit and said it expects market conditions to remain challenging.

The group, which runs market leader B&Q in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, blamed unfavourable foreign exchange movements, weak economies and poor weather.

It said that adverse foreign exchange movements when translating euro and Polish zloty overseas profits into sterling knocked 39 million pounds (46 million euros) off profit, while record wet weather in Britain cost it 25 million pounds (29.5 million euros) as fewer customers visited its stores.

Kingfisher, with more than 1,000 stores in eight countries in Europe and Asia, is being squeezed by reduced customer disposable income for “big ticket” items such as kitchens and bathrooms.

The company made an underlying pretax profit of 715 million pounds (843 million euros) in the year to Feb. 2.

That was in line with analysts’ consensus forecast but down from 807 million pounds in 2011-12.

Group sales fell 2.4 percent to 10.57 billion pounds (12.46 billion euros), with weak consumer confidence resulting in like-for-like sales declines in its three key markets of Britain, France and Poland.

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