Kingfisher's email hiccup forces it to post results early

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The Independent Online

The owner of B&Q was yesterday embarrassed into bringing forward publication of its first-half results, after accidentally publishing some of the data ahead of schedule in an "administrative error".

An email from Kingfisher, the DIY group, sent to analysts on Monday afternoon unwittingly included some information on profits which should have been published with the interims next Thursday. The figures, which were markedly better than expected, prompted analysts to upgrade their projections for the shares and Kingfisher was then obliged to release its results early.

"Whilst the numbers have not yet been formally approved, Kingfisher recognises its regulatory responsibilities," the company said.

The cock-up threatened to eclipse the improved trading performance from the company. For the six months to 1 August, Kingfisher revealed that its pre-tax profit will be between £285m and £290m, which is up to 36 per cent up on the £214m delivered last year.

Nick Bubb, a retail analyst at Pali International, said that a strong performance at B&Q in particular had fuelled the uplift in profits. He said: "We had expected first-half profits before tax of 'only' £271m, up 27 per cent on last year, so the news is pleasing."