Kingfisher like-for-like sales up

Kingfisher reports a solid overall third quarter performance with like-for-like sales up 1.8% driven by the UK and Poland.

It also said £182m (53 million shares) returned year to date via share buyback of the previously announced c.£600m capital return.

In the Uk & Ireland, total sales were up 2.5%. LFL +5.8% reflecting continued strong Screwfix performance and solid B&Q performance.

- B&Q UK & Ireland sales -3.6% reflecting store closure programme which is now nearly complete (7 in Q3; 59 to date of 65 planned). LFL +3.5% including c.2% benefit from sales transference associated with store closures. LFL of seasonal +5.3%. LFL of non-seasonal, including showroom +3.1%

- Screwfix sales up +23.1% (LFL +12.7%) driven by its leading digital capability, new and extended ranges and 11 new outlets

In France, total sales were -2.6% (LFL -3.6%). Sales for the home improvement market (Banque de France data*) -1.9% in Q3

- Castorama sales -3.7% (LFL -3.8%) reflecting less promotional activity. LFL of seasonal +5.9%. LFL of non-seasonal, including showroom -4.9%

- Brico Dépôt sales -1.2% (LFL -3.3%)

Total sales in Poland were up 9.5% (LFL +6.7%) benefiting from a supportive market and new ranges. LFL of seasonal +7.8%. LFL of non-seasonal, including showroom +6.6%

Chief executive Veronique Laury said: "Q3 trading conditions have followed a similar trend to the first half. We have delivered another solid sales performance overall, trading in line with expectations. Sales have been driven by Poland and the UK, especially Screwfix, offset by softer sales in France.

"We continue to make good progress on our strategic milestones in the first year of our five year ONE Kingfisher transformation, and remain on track. In addition, we are gearing up for next year when the level of transformation activity will significantly increase. We remain confident in our ability to deliver our ambitious plan, based on always putting customer needs first, supported by the expertise and energy of our colleagues."