Kingfisher Profits Fall 15.5%


LONDON -- Kingfisher (ISE: KGF.L) , Europe's largest home improvement retailer, issued its half-time results this morning, and with it the announcement that its pre-tax profits were down 15.5% to 371 million pounds from 2011-2012's figure of 439 million pounds.

Half-year sales were down 3.3% at the B&Q owner, from 5,662 million pounds at the same stage last year to 5,478 million pounds, with retail profit decreasing by 14.7% to 403 million pounds compared to 2011-2012's 473 million pounds.

A significant drop-off in footfall was blamed on record wet weather in the U.K. and northern Europe, as BBQs were largely overlooked, with management explaining that "seasonal product sales were down 7%, resulting in higher seasonal markdowns to clear excess seasonal stocks and additional marketing to drive footfall."

Elsewhere, the results were impacted by 25 million pounds' worth of "adverse foreign exchange movements when translating euro and [Polish] zloty overseas profits into sterling for reporting purposes," which lessens the blow brought by the interim report somewhat, but perhaps not significantly enough.

Group chief executive Ian Cheshire commented: "Whilst we were unable to offset fully the adverse weather impacts, our efforts meant we exited the first half in as good shape as possible and with net cash on the balance sheet... Whilst an uncertain economic backdrop has been a feature of our markets for some time, we recognise that this is unlikely to improve for a while."

The share price has remained around the same, neither rising nor falling dramatically, settling at 272 pence at the time of writing. And with an adjusted earnings per share down to 11.5 pence for the period from 13.5 pence at the same stage last year, combined with Cheshire's warnings for the future, the announcements in today's results haven't done the stock any favors...

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Sam Robson does not own shares in Kingfisher.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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