HomeHome ImprovementB&Q proprietor’s income soar as Covid creates ‘era of DIYers’ | Kingfisher

B&Q proprietor’s income soar as Covid creates ‘era of DIYers’ | Kingfisher

Kingfisher, the proprietor of B&Q and Screwfix, has reported a surge in gross sales and income for 2020 as a locked-down nation turned to dwelling enhancements.

Thierry Garnier, the chief govt of Kingfisher, stated the corporate had seen “extraordinary demand” up to now 12 months as individuals tailored and up to date their houses and gardens to deal with new calls for prompted by restrictions on journey, socialising, colleges and leisure.

The group, which operates about 1,380 B&Q and Screwfix shops within the UK and Eire in addition to retailers in France, Poland, Spain and Portugal, stated gross sales climbed 7.2% to £12.3bn within the 12 months to 31 January. Gross sales at shops open for greater than a 12 months within the UK & Eire rose practically 11% as many 18- to 35-year-olds had a go at DIY for the primary time utilizing social media for suggestions and concepts.

Kingfisher reported pre-tax income of £756m within the 12 months to 31 March, up 634% from £103m the earlier 12 months. The income leap got here after heavy one-off prices a 12 months earlier than associated to retailer closures, the sale of the group’s Russian enterprise and property writedowns after years of flagging gross sales and value cuts.

Garnier stated gross sales development would proceed over the following 5 – 6 months however was then probably to enter reverse within the second half of 2021, as the corporate would wrestle to beat practically 17% gross sales development within the second half of 2020. Nonetheless, Garnier predicted the DIY revival would outlast the pandemic.

“The Covid disaster has established new longer-term tendencies which are clearly supportive for our trade,” he stated .

“We consider working from house is right here to remain. For a lot of, houses have became hubs the place we work, train and relaxation. A brand new era of younger DIYers is rising with elevated motivation and new abilities.”

He stated Kingfisher would emerge from the disaster as a stronger enterprise and was “nicely positioned to capitalise on these new and constructive market tendencies”.

The corporate stated the pandemic had supercharged its digital enterprise, accelerating the shift to on-line purchasing by two years and attracting 10 million new on-line prospects. Total internet gross sales grew 158% 12 months on 12 months to account for 18% of whole group gross sales, greater than double the 8% share pre-pandemic.

Click on and gather gross sales surged 226% to account for greater than three-quarters of all e-commerce gross sales, up from 62% within the earlier monetary 12 months.

Earlier in March, Kingfisher stated it will be opening 50 Screwfix shops within the UK and Eire this 12 months, creating 600 jobs. That comes on high of two,800 jobs added at B&Q and Screwfix up to now 12 months.

The group is now aiming for 900 Screwfix shops over time, 100 greater than beforehand anticipated, and as much as 9 extra smaller B&Q shops on retail parks, excessive streets and inside Asda supermarkets within the UK. Nevertheless, it can downsize a few of the largest B&Q retailers. Garnier stated the spare house may both be taken up by different retailers or used to create mini on-line supply centres for Kingfisher.

Kingfisher introduced a complete dividend of 8.25p a share, in contrast with its earlier shareholder payout of three.33p a share. The retailer stated its new monetary 12 months had began nicely, with like-for-like gross sales within the first quarter of 2021 up 24%.

In December, Kingfisher joined different retailers in returning emergency taxpayer assist, pledging to repay £130m it acquired in enterprise charges aid and £25m of furlough funds.


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