B&Q proprietor Kingfisher has reported a surge in gross sales after the chain noticed “distinctive demand” throughout the lockdown interval.
Chief government Thierry Garnier stated individuals have been taking up DIY tasks as they have been spending extra time at dwelling and had fewer leisure and journey choices.
Kingfisher stated like-for-like gross sales for the second quarter ending on 13 June have been 21.8% forward of the identical interval final 12 months, lifted by on-line revenues rising by as a lot as fourfold.
The reopening of B&Q shops within the UK from mid-April – which noticed lengthy queues construct up outdoors branches – contributed to the robust efficiency as effectively.
Kingfisher, which additionally owns Screwfix, plus European chains together with France-based Castorama, is recruiting 3,000-4,000 extra employees to deal with demand.
The group stated it couldn’t present particular steering for the 2020/21 monetary 12 months given the uncertainty across the pandemic.
Mr Garnier stated an financial downturn would significantly hit demand for large tasks resembling kitchens and bogs.
However he added: “I nonetheless suppose that DIY total will show extra resilient than the typical.”
Shares rose 5% on the replace, which got here as Kingfisher additionally reported “disappointing” outcomes for the 12 months to the top of January.
Pre-tax income tumbled 66% to £103m as gross sales slipped and the group took a one-off cost of £441m to replicate a gloomier outlook for elements of the enterprise.
The coronavirus pandemic put an additional dent in buying and selling with gross sales down 24.8% within the first quarter of the present monetary 12 months.
Within the UK, Kingfisher’s B&Q and Screwfix chains – classed as “important” shops – have been eligible to stay open throughout the lockdown that began on 23 March.
However managers determined to shut branches to be able to put in place social distancing measures, earlier than a phased reopening beginning in mid-April.
Weekly gross sales figures for the UK and Eire fell by as a lot as 70% throughout the early levels of lockdown however then bounced again sharply and have been forward by almost 30% within the week ending 13 June.
Kingfisher stated all 289 UK shops have been now open whereas many of the nation’s 682 Screwfix shops had been reordered to be able to reopen safely by the top of Could.