Kingfisher haemorrhaging sales in nearly all countries
Following downturns in nearly all countries and distribution channels, Kingfisher has reported a drop in sales of 3.1 per cent for the third quarter (ended 31 October 2019). Adjusted for currency effects the drop is 3.2 per cent, and 3.7 per cent when adjusted for retail area and currency effects. Total sales came to GBP 2.955 bn (EUR 3.457 bn). The British group fared best in its home market (including Ireland). Although the B&Q stores saw sales fall by 3.5 per cent to GBP 820 mio (EUR 959 mio), Screwfix grew by 7.9 per cent to GBP 477 mio (EUR 558 mio). This resulted in an increase of 0.4 per cent to GBP 1.297 bn (EUR 1.518 bn). In France, both the Castorama (-6.0 per cent) and Brico Dépôt (-6.4 per cent) distribution lines experienced significant downturns. Sales overall fell by 6.2 per cent (at constant exchange rates) to GBP 1.041 bn (EUR 1.218 bn). The drop in Russia was huge, with a downturn of 20.0 per cent (adjusted for exchange rates) to GBP 87 mio (EUR 102 mio). In Poland the downturn was -0.8 per cent, in Spain and Portugal -8.2 per cent, and in Romania -0.6 per cent, although the latter was the only country in which like-for-like growth of +6.1 per cent was experienced. New CEO Thierry Garnier expressed disappointment with the figures. In his opinion, Kingfisher "have not found the right balance between getting the benefits of group scale and staying close to local markets. We are suffering from organisational complexity, and we are trying to do too much at once with multiple large-scale initiatives running in parallel. Altogether, this has brought disruption to sales and has distracted the business from focusing on customers."