Winter storms give B&Q fence sales a lift
Thursday 29 May 2014
B&Q’s owner Kingfisher may be praying for gales rather than sunshine after demand for fence panels soared following February’s storms.
Sales of fence panels soared 86 per cent in the first quarter, the retailer announced on Thursday, as it sold enough fencing to stretch 370 miles.
Its chief executive, Sir Ian Cheshire, said: “A huge number of fences were ripped up by the storms and broken. I feel sorry for our customers but I’m pleased at the trade.”
But shares in Kingfisher fell nearly 5 per cent to 397p after its 20 per cent rise in retail profits to £142m for the period fell short of analysts’ expectations and raised fears over its margins.
Tony Shiret, an analyst at Espirito Santo, said: “The gross margin decline is likely in our view to have been focused in B&Q where the company continues to be indecisive between Everyday Low Price and promotional pricing. We are not so sure that the B&Q pricing strategy is clear enough.”
Sir Ian countered the claims, saying lower-margin gardening products and a promotion on kitchens had temporarily hit margins in the quarter.
The group reported a 6.1 per cent rise in sales after warm weather and a surge in customers over Easter drove sales. But he sounded a note of caution, warning that the bounce in sales had been against a tough period last year.
Kingfisher also announced that about £100m of surplus cash is to be returned to investors through a special dividend of 4.2p a share.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...