- Home improvement retailer Kingfisher reported a rise in sales in the third quarter of the year on stronger demand as consumers spent more time in their homes and focused on improving them.

For the three months ended 31 October, sales grew 17.6% to £3.5 billion, up 17.2% and 17.4% and 17.4% on a like-for-like basis. In the UK & Ireland, total sales were up 21.5%, with B&Q and Screwfix up 23.9% and 17.4% respectively.

B&Q saw strong demand in all categories, in particular outdoor. 'The new kitchen range continues to perform well, and installation services will be reintroduced into all UK stores by January 2021,' the company said.

In France, sales were up 16.6%, with particular strength in outdoor and surfaces & decor, the company added. In the current fourth quarter, overall like-for-like sales - to 14 November 2020 - were up 12.6%, largely 'reflecting the impact of more recent temporary lockdown measures.'

'Sales growth in the first week of November was largely driven by exceptional demand in the UK, particularly at B&Q, ahead of the commencement of the national lockdown in England on 5 November,' the company said.

Looking ahead, the company anticipated that adjusted pre-tax profit will include £175 million of temporary cost savings.

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