Shares in Kingfisher (LON:KGF) have taken a hit today, as the do-it-yourself retailer revealed that the ‘Beast from the East’ had impacted its performance in the first three months of its financial year. The company, however, noted that it was on track to deliver its three-year strategic transformation plan.
As of 08:47 BST, Kingfisher’s share price had lost 2.98 percent to 286.60p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally into positive territory and currently standing 0.09 percent higher at 7,795.34 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 14 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.6-percent rise in the Footsie.
Kingfisher posts sales fall
Kingfisher announced in a statement this morning that its total like-for-like sales had dropped four percent to £2.83 billion in the quarter ended April 30. The group saw a 5.4-percent drop in sales in the UK and Ireland, while France posted a 3.9-percent fall. The B&Q owner explained that the result reflected “unusually adverse weather conditions which impacted footfall”.
“It was a challenging start to the year with exceptionally harsh weather across Europe and weak UK consumer demand,” Kingfisher’s chief executive Véronique Laury commented in the statement.
‘Mixed’ market conditions
Laury further noted that market conditions continued to be ‘mixed,’ with the UK uncertain, France ‘encouraging, but volatile,’ while Poland remained ‘supportive’. She, however, pointed out that the company remained “confident about delivering the business and customer benefits of our transformation plan”.
Kingfisher separately announced that it would start the next £50 million of its share buyback programme today. The company noted that it had returned £40 million in the year-to-date, and a total of £500 million of its about £600-million commitment.