Royal gnomes add a regal touch to Jubilee for Kingfisher


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The Independent Online

Kingfisher, the owner of the DIY chain B&Q, is hoping for a regal boost to its spring sales from Diamond Jubilee gnomes, after growing its annual profits by more than a fifth.

The group is to start selling the pair of gnomes of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for £20 from May. Ian Cheshire, the chief executive of Kingfisher, which has more than 850 stores in eight countries from China to Turkey, said: "It is a bit of fun to celebrate that this summer should be slightly more cheerful."

Kingfisher grew its pre-tax profits by 20.4 per cent to £807m over the year to 28 January, with its two biggest operations in France and the UK contributing to the bottom line. The group's total sales rose by 3.6 per cent to £10.83bn.

The group's management team will get a bumper payout after Kingfisher surpassed its performance share plan's two main targets relating to earnings per share and total shareholder return over the past four years.

This included more than doubling its market capitalisation to £7.19bn.