The confusing summer weather in the UK led to disappointing sales of outdoor products, and B&Q saw a drop of 8% from Q2 sales (although also a 3% rise in indoor goods sales). This did not see the upturn in DIY sales that Kingfisher would have hoped for, however. One area where growth has been good is under the ScrewFix brand; total sales for this have risen by 21% to £180 million, and have helped finance the expansion of outlets to 303 across the country.
The other areas of international sales have seen a fall in Poland and considerably slower growth rates in France, Spain and Russia than anticipated. A strong promotional drive in China has helped sales increase by 12.5% or £112 million; this, however, has partially been offset by the disruption of the Golden Week holidays that distorted third-quarter figures.
By midday, shares were off some 5% as traders showed they were less than impressed. The company currently has a dividend yield of 2.4% – not quite enough to encourage the average institutional analyst away from a hold recommendation.