B&Q owner Kingfisher's like-for-like sales climbs 2.5% with improved weather conditions.
B&Q owner Kingfisher's like-for-like sales climbs 2.5% with improved weather conditions.

Home-improvement retailer Kingfisher posted an improvement sales in the second quarter following a spate of sunny weather.

The company, which owns DIY chain B&Q, said like-for-like sales, which do not include newly-opened stores, increased 2.5% for the 10 weeks to 13 July.

Like-for-like sales in B&Q's UK and Ireland stores rose 1.9%, with sales of outdoor and seasonal products climbing almost 20%. This ended up accounting for 40% of the total sales.

Group sales rose 5.2% as brands, such as Castorama and Brico Dépôt in France, saw 3.4% surge in uptake. Across other international markets, company sales rose by 11.2%.

Sales of house pipes rose 82% in this quarter while sales of fans in the first week of July showed 1,627% surge. Screwfix, which is Kingfisher's trade business, experienced a 6.6% boost in like-for-like sales.

Kingfisher also completed acquiring 15 stores in Romania, its first new country entry in seven years. The group which has about 1,060 stores in nine countries across Europe and Asia was trading 1.77% higher at 10.20 am in London.

"Following a tough Q1, I am pleased to report that we have been able to capitalise on the better weather conditions in Q2, particularly in the UK, which has helped us to deliver growth," Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's group chief executive said.

However issued a warning that the current economic environment could still work against the company.

"Underlying consumer confidence remains weak in our major markets, so we continue to focus hard on our self-help margin and cost initiatives. We are on track to deliver a first half in line with our expectations," he added.

The group recorded a poor first quarter result with the sales dropping 4.2%. Retail profits were below expectations, dropping 29.2% to £114m (€133m / $178m).

The weaker confidence among consumers in the UK, Ireland and France and extremely cold weather in March pulled down group-wide profits in the first three months of the year. Sales of outdoor and building products were down in the first quarter.

Earlier in July, Kingfisher said that its 2013-14 earnings will reflect an exceptional credit of £145m after France's high court declared that 10 years ago company paid the French government excessive tax.