British DIY-group Kingfisher had to announce a drop in profit for the first time in four years: in the past financial year, that ended on 31 January, the profit stood at 564 million pound (641 million euro), 12% less than the 640 million pound (770 million euro) of the year before.
Sales drop as well
Globally Kingfisher, the company above brands such as B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix, saw its sales drop to 10.573 billion pound (12.4 billion euro), 2.4% less than for the financial year 2011/2012.
The drop is mainly due to disappointing sales in the United Kingdom and Ireland, caused by low consumer trust and extremely bad weather conditions. Sales dropped by 2% to 4.3 billion pound (5 billion euro). Especially B&Q struggled and had to take a hit of -3.6% in sales. The company also suffered from the bad weather: seasonal sales were 11% lower than in the previous year.
In Ireland things went completely awry: Kingfisher had to request protection from creditors in January for its nine locations of B&Q Ireland. The recession in the Irish Republic made sales of the company plummet. Kingfisher has already set 21 million pound (247 million euro) aside to handle its Irish business.
Euro and zloty also weigh on numbers
For Europe the exchange rates of the euro and the Polish zloty also were a spoilsport: fifty million less profit was made because of them.
The biggest disappointment was France, where sales dropped by 6.2% to 4.192 billion pound (4.9 billion euro). The rise of 2% at Castorama picked up the slack of Brico Dépôt, which suffered big because of the slowing construction market, but the weakening of the euro nullified the rise of 0.3% at constant exchange rates completely.