Kingfisher, parent of European DIY giants B&Q and Castorama, had sales growth in the second quarter despite similar commodity and housing pressures in the European market as in the United States.
Total sales at B&Q rose 3.7 percent due to better weather and fewer markdowns, the company said. B&Q also reported greater sales of “higher margin decorative ranges” and significantly less clearance activity.
The company’s U.K.-based pro businesses, Screwfix and Trade Depot, reported sales growth of 18.7 percent, primarily due to 13 new store openings.
The company’s France-based Castorama chain saw same-store sales growth of 3.5 percent, while total sales grew 4.3 percent, with decorative ranges and outdoor product performing well. Sales at the Brico Depot chain rose 2.2 percent overall, although sales were negatively affected by lower housing starts in that country. House-brand sales rose at both chains, the company noted.
Sales in other countries were mixed: Castorama in Poland saw sales growth of 18.8 percent in what the retailer characterized as a “buoyant market.” Castorama in Italy saw total sales rise 5.1 percent in what it said was a weak consumer environment. B&Q in China saw a big sales dip, down 24.5 percent, “reflecting market weakness driven by housing regulation changes and the significant reduction in unprofitable deep discounting and special promotions.”
The company outlined several initiatives for the coming year, including expansion in France and Eastern Europe. In all, Kingfisher operates around 850 stores in nine countries in Europe and Asia.