Focus collapse takes toll on B&Q

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The Independent Online

Kingfisher, the world's third-largest DIY retail group, blamed a "challenging market" and the closing-down sale of its rival Focus for a slump in sales at its UK chain B&Q in the second quarter.

But a strong performance in France, Spain, Poland and Russia helped the home improvement group to grow total revenues by 1 per cent over the 11 weeks to 16 July. The collapse of Focus, the market's fourth-biggest DIY chain, in May contributed to B&Q UK & Ireland posting like-for-like sales down by 6.7 per cent.

But Kingfisher, which has 900 stores in eight countries, said it expects to "emerge from this year in excellent shape".