Home Depot, America's largest DIY chain, has just published quarterly results that were better than expected, thanks to the recovering housing market and the unusual warm weather for the time of the year.
Nearly 10 % growth in latest quarter
Home Depot's fourth quarter turnover (which ended on 31 January) grew 9.5 % to 19.05 billion euro, with a 7.1 % like-for-like turnover increase. Its net profit also grew 6.6 % to 1.47 billion dollar (1.33 billion euro).
The chain's performance in its American home territory grew 8.9 % in stores that have been around longer than a year, which is well above analysts' expectations at 5.3 %.
Home Depot took full advantage of the recovering housing market (because of the low interest rates) and the economic surge. The latter led to more jobs and more loans, which meant that more people spent money on the upkeep or renovation of their homes. The unusually warm weather for the time of the year also boosted the company's outdoor equipment sales.
Home Depot's 2015 turnover reached record heights, at 88.5 billion dollars (80.36 billion euro), up 6.4 %. For 2016, the Atlanta-based company forecasts a slightly lower turnover growth, at 5.1 to 6 %. Yearly turnover would reach 84.5 to 85.2 billion euro, while like-for-like turnover growth would be 3.7 to 4.5 %.
Home Depot's smaller rival, Lowe's, will publish its results on Wednesday. Together, these chains dominate the American DIY market: their performances are usually watched carefully, as they are a good indication of the state the American housing market is in.