Retail group Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, is reaping the benefits of both a lockdown DIY boom and its new ecommerce strategy with profits and online sales soaring over the past 12 months.
The company has seen full-year pre-tax profits rise to £756m in the year to the end of January – a 634% increase on the £103m recorded last year – with sales up by 7.2% during the same period to £12.3bn.
It seems its new strategic plan, dubbed ‘Powered by Kingfisher’, which was revealed in June last year is already delivering in spades.
The brainchild of French chief executive Thierry Garnier, who joined Kingfisher in September last year from Carrefour Group, the strategy is designed to tap into its growing ecommerce operation, which witnessed an 8% rise in the year ending January 2020.
However, even Garner could not have predicted such a boom in online sales, which were up by 158% for the year. He said: “Kingfisher is coming out of the Covid crisis as a stronger business, with an improved competitive position in all key markets, strong new customer growth and a step change in digital adoption.
“I would like to express my personal thanks to all our teams for their incredible efforts in the most testing of circumstances.”
The company said it had seen a strong start to this financial year amid high demand in the UK and France, which are both going through lockdowns.
Since the end of January like-for-like sales have risen more than 24% compared with the same period in 2020.
Garnier added: “Current trading remains positive and, while visibility is limited for the year as a whole, we are confident of continued outperformance of our wider markets.
“The Covid crisis has established new longer-term trends that are clearly supportive for our industry – including more working from home, the renewed importance of the home as a ‘hub’, and the development of a new generation of DIYers – and we expect these to endure.
“With our strategic progress, we are well positioned to capitalise on these new and positive market trends.”
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