StockMarketWire.com - Kingfisher said Thursday it returned to like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter of the year, as warm weather fuelled a wave of sales at B&Q, though struggles in France kept a lid on growth.

For the three months to 31 July, total sales rose 3.4% to £3.26bn, while like-for-like sales rose 1.6%.

The upbeat performance was led by strong growth in the UK & Ireland, which saw same store sales rise 4.2% supported by a 6.0% rise in sales to £1.41bn. While B&Q sales rose 3.9% in the period.

That offset weak performance in France somewhat amid weaker footfall and the impact of transformation-related activity at Castorama, which reported a 3.8% decline in same store sales.

First-half group gross margin after clearance costs are expected to be about -40 basis points. 'In Q2, I'm pleased that we grew our sales after the exceptionally harsh weather conditions in Q1,' Véronique Laury, Chief Executive Officer. 'In B&Q, Screwfix and Brico Dépôt France we delivered good sales growth. However, the performance of Castorama France has been more difficult and as a result we have put additional actions in place to support our full year performance in France with the benefits expected to come through in H2.'





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