UK: Mixed results for Kingfisher

In the UK and Ireland, B&Q total sales dropped 3.3% to £1,773m in H1, impacted by the axing of installation services and declines across showroom and weather-related categories. Kingfisher reported a number of exceptional items for the half year ended 31 July, including a £68m restructuring charge relating to redundancy costs following the group’s plans to close 11 stores in France and 19 Screwfix Germany outlets. The retailer described financial performance in the half as “mixed”. Screwfix, Poland and Romania delivered like-for-like sales growth for the period. However, sales at B&Q and Castorama France, were disappointing, with the retail group attributing declines to “a weak consumer backdrop in the UK and disruption caused by new range implementation”, alongside ongoing transformation-related issues at Castorama France. B&Q like-for-like (LFL) sales declined by 3.2% in H1.

Online was a more positive story, as B&Q’s total digital sales continued to make good progress, with sales growing by 10% and now representing 5% of total sales. The retailer also recorded a £1 million profit in the period on the disposal of properties in the UK.

Screwfix grew total sales by 9.9% (+5.1% LFL) to £882m, driven by specialist trade desks exclusive to plumbers and electricians, strong digital growth of 18% (now accounting for 32% of total sales); and the continued roll out of new outlets. The retailer opened 16 new Screwfix outlets in H1 19/20, taking its estate to 643. The company’s longer-term target is to operate around 800 outlets in the UK, and the business said it remains “on track” to open stores in the Republic of Ireland in the second half of the year in order to complement its existing online presence. Total sales for the Kingfisher Group were down 0.9% in constant currency.

 

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Chile: Falabella reports slowed growth

The Chilean retail group Falabella has been feeling the effects of the currency turbulences in South America on its home improvement business. In the second quarter, the DIY division made sales of CLP 952.074 bn (€1,209 bn), i.e. only 0.8% more than in the same quarter last year. On their home market in Chile, division sales declined by 3.5% to CLP 529.457 bn (€672m), same store sales by 4.2%. Figures from Argentina appear drastic: -16.2% with sales of CLP 27.784 bn (€35m). There was a plus of 37.3% in local currency, for which the high rate of inflation is primarily responsible, and an increase in same store sales of 13.5%. In Brazil, the group raised its home improvement sales by 18.1% (in local currency: 16.8%; same store sales 18.2%) to CLP 48.176 bn (€61m). The company attributes growth to factors such as better sales in the remodelled Sodimac Dicico stores. Sales in Colombia, the second largest market for the DIY division, grew by 5.9% to CLP 191.126 bn (€243m; in local currency: 10.8%; same store sales 8.1%). There was a plus of 10.1% to CLP 155.531 bn (€198m; in local currency: 1.8%; same store sales 3.4%) in Peru.

 

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South Africa: 4% sales rise for Cashbuild

Cashbuild, EDRA Member and building materials, DIY and hardware retailer in South Africa, racked up sales amounting to ZAR 10.821 bn (€659m) in fiscal 2018/2019 (ended 30 June 2019), which comprised 53 weeks. Scaled down to 52 weeks, the company’s sales were ZAR 10.622 bn (€647m), 4% more than in the previous year. At the reporting date, Cashbuild operated 315 stores, including 59 P&L Hardware stores and one DIY store. During 2018/2019 the company opened nine Cashbuild stores and two P&L Hardware stores, as well as refurbishing 26 stores. Five Cashbuild stores, three P&L stores and six DIY stores were closed. Cashbuild operates more than 300 stores in South Africa and the common monetary area with Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho as well as in Botswana, Malawi and Zambia.

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Germany: Sales up 5.5% for OBI

The German market leader OBI increased its net sales in the last financial year by 5.5% to  €6.4424 bn. Sales in Germany amounted to €3.2614 bn, equivalent to an increase of 4.2% and slightly outstripping the sales figure outside Germany (€3.1811 bn; + 6.9%). The figures were released by the parent company Tengelmann. The number of OBI stores grew by 2% in the same period to 668 outlets, while the workforce increased by 4.8% to 47,367.

 

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U.S.: Lowe’s Q2 comp sales up

Lowe’s Cos. has released its second-quarter results with net earnings of $1.7 bn, up from $1.5 bn in the second quarter of 2018. Sales for the second quarter increased 0.5% to $21.0 bn from $20.9 bn, while comparable sales increased 2.3%. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 3.2%. “We capitalized on spring demand, strong holiday event execution and growth in paint and our pro business to deliver strong second quarter results,” said Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin Ellison.

 

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Australia: Strong results for Bunnings

The DIY store chain Bunnings, with its currently 374 locations in Australia and New Zealand, increased its retail sales in the previous financial year 2018/2019 (ending 30 June 2019) by 5.1% to AUD 13.162 bn. Store-on-store sales grew by 3.9%. In the second half of the year retail sales amounted to AUD 6.256 bn, which corresponds to a growth of 4.7% compared to the same period last year. According to the annual report by the parent company Wesfarmers, Bunnings has now extended the testing of its click and collect offer, which started with a single store trial in Victoria, to all stores in Tasmania. The report further states that the ongoing development of broader digital capabilities and the staged roll-out of a full online transactional offer for Australia and New Zealand remain the main focus.

 

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Canada: Positive Q2 for Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire Corp. has released its second-quarter results for the period ended 29 June. Consolidated retail sales increased $53.6m or 1.3% in the period. Excluding petroleum, consolidated retail sales were up 2.3% over the same time last year.

Consolidated revenue grew by 5.9%. Excluding petroleum, it was up by 7.9% in the quarter. For the retail segment, revenue increased 5.7%. Excluding petroleum, retail segment revenue increased 7.8%. Retail sales by Canadian Tire stores increased by 2.1% and comparable sales were up 1.9% in the second quarter.

For more information visit: www.hardlines.ca