(Alliance News) - Kingfisher PLC posted double-digit sales rises almost across the board in its third-quarter, helped by both its status as essential retailer and by an online order surge.
And more recently, sales in the six weeks to November 14 have continued to grow, albeit at a slightly slower pace.
Kingfisher shares were 3.2% lower at 289.80 pence each in London on Thursday morning.
In the three months to October 31, sales jumped 17% year-on-year to GBP3.46 billion. At constant currency, sales were 18% higher, while like-for-like constant currency sales climbed 17%.
In its UK & Ireland arm, Kingfisher saw sales growth of 24% and 17% at its B&Q and Screwfix units. Total UK & Ireland sales were 22% higher.
French sales jumped 18%, driven by 20% growth in Castorama and a 16% rise at Brico Depot.
Sales rises of 19% were seen in Iberia, 8.3% in Poland and 9.6% in Romania. The only laggard was its Russia arm, where sales fell 12%.
The Russia decline was largely owed to Kingfisher selling Castorama Russia for GBP73 million on September 30, meaning it had one fewer month of trading during the period.
"We achieved strong sales growth in Q3 across all retail banners and categories, with higher footfall and average transaction value. Our growth was supported by strong market demand, as consumers spent more time in their homes and focused on improving them," Chief Executive Officer Thierry Garnier said.
"At the same time, we have made good progress against our 'Powered by Kingfisher' strategic priorities - the early benefits of which are enabling us to meet the current strong demand, both in-store and online, and grow our share in key markets."
Online sales more than doubled, Kingfisher explained, and they now account for 17% of group sales, compared to 8% a year ago.
In the six weeks to November 14, which has coincided with tighter restrictions in Europe, including part of England's one-month lockdown, group like-for-like sales are up 13%, slowed somewhat from the third-quarter.
This largely reflects "the impact of more recent temporary lockdown measures", Kingfisher explained.
The company broke down its sales during the period by week, with numbers showing group like-for-like sales rising 12% in the second week of November. In the last week of October alone, they climbed 25%.
Kingfisher noted all of its stores are open.
Looking ahead, the company also gave a nod to its brexit planning, as the clock ticks down for the UK and EU to land a deal before the end of the transitional period.
If no free trade pact is reached, Kingfisher expects its EU and non-EU imports to attract an average tariff of about 2%.
"This would be slightly lower than the current average duty rate for all direct imports into the UK, although this excludes any potential indirect exposures," the company added.
By Eric Cunha; email@example.com
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