B&Q owner nails £756m profit from lockdown DIY boom

B&Q queue 

B&Q queue

The owner of B&Q has cashed in on a DIY boom during lockdown as millions of homeowners tried to jazz up their surroundings.

Kingfisher said pre-tax profits soared by 634pc from £103m to £756m for the 12 months to the end of January.

Sales jumped by 7.2pc during the period to £12.3bn with online up by 158pc.

Internet sales were already growing rapidly for the retailer, which also owns Screwfix, but the explosive growth during lockdown came as people tried to do up the homes they were confined to.

Chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Kingfisher is coming out of the Covid crisis as a stronger business, with an improved competitive position in all key markets, strong new customer growth and a step change in digital adoption.

“I would like to express my personal thanks to all our teams for their incredible efforts in the most testing of circumstances.”

The company reported a strong start to the current financial year amid high demand in the UK and France, which are both going through lockdowns.

Since the end of January life-for-like sales have jumped more than 24pc compared with the same period last year.

Mr Garnier said: “Current trading remains positive and, while visibility is limited for the year as a whole, we are confident of continued outperformance of our wider markets.

“The Covid crisis has established new longer-term trends that are clearly supportive for our industry – including more working from home, the renewed importance of the home as a ‘hub’, and the development of a new generation of DIYers – and we expect these to endure.

“With our strategic progress, we are well positioned to capitalise on these new and positive market trends.”

Shares in Kingfisher rose more than 4pc in morning trading to 326p, valuing the FTSE 100 company at £6.9bn.

The stock has enjoyed a steady rise over the past 12 months from the 143p it was worth this time last year.