B&Q's sales are really under the weather

Kingfisher's DIY chain B&Q has followed rival Wickes in reporting a slump in UK sales after January's heavy snowfall.

Europe's largest home improvement retailer performed strongly in Russia and China, but a 6.4 per cent slump in UK and Ireland sales in the fourth quarter, to the end of January, capped a year to forget for Kingfisher in Britain, where it was also hit by the summer washout.

But total sales rose 1.5 per cent to £2.4bn in the period and the company said its full-year results, due next month, would meet forecasts.