Britain's Kingfisher lifts profit view on pandemic DIY boom

By Reuters

<p><body> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> (Reuters) -British home improvement retailer Kingfisher on Thursday raised its profit outlook as it continued to benefit from robust demand during the <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The group, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in the United Kingdom and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other markets, said like-for-like sales soared 64.2% year-on-year in the three months to April 30, its fiscal first quarter.</p> <p>It said like-for-like sales were up 22.5% compared with the same period two years ago – before the crisis started to disrupt trading last year.</p> <p>Kingfisher said growth had slowed in its second quarter so far as comparative numbers got considerably tougher, with like-for-like sales up 8.2% year-on-year in the period to May 15.</p> <p>The group raised its forecast for first half 2021-22 like-for-like sales growth to “mid-to-high teens” from “low double-digit” previously and now expects first half adjusted pretax profit to be in the range of 580 million to 600 million pounds ($818-$847 million).</p> <p>For the second half Kingfisher maintained its guidance for like-for-like sales to fall by between 5% and 15%, given harder comparative numbers and uncertainty over the macroeconomic and consumer environment.</p> <p>For the full year the group is now aiming to grow adjusted pretax profit, excluding 85 million pounds of non-recurring cost savings, “ahead of sales”. Its previous guidance was “in line with sales”. It made 786 million pounds in 2020-21.</p> <p>($1 = 0.7087 pounds)</p> <p> (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Michael Holden & Simon Cameron-Moore)</p> </body></p>