Kingfisher plc (LON: KGF) reported an increase in its first-quarter sales on Thursday as the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic sustained demand for the home-improvement retailer. On the back of hawkish quarterly performance, the British firm also raised its guidance for the first half.
Kingfisher shares jumped roughly 3% in premarket trading on Thursday but lost the entire intraday gain on market open. The stock is now trading at 368 pence per share versus 276 pence per share at the start of the year.
Kingfisher reports robust demand in all categories
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Kingfisher generated £3.45 billion of sales in the quarter that concluded on 30th April, representing an annualised growth of 60%. The home-improvement retailer’s like-for-like sales saw a year over year increase of 64% in Q1 (constant currency). Compared to 2019, its quarterly like-for-like sales were up 23%.
According to the British multinational, demand remained robust for all categories in the recent quarter. Except for Poland, all geographies also noted an increase in sales. In separate news from the United Kingdom, EasyJet said its pre-tax loss widened in the six months that concluded on 31st March to £701 million.
For the fiscal first half, Kingfisher now forecasts comparable sales to grow by 15% to 19%. The London-listed company expects up to £600 million of adjusted pre-tax profit in H1. Comparable sales, however, are likely to tank by up to 15% on a year over year basis in H2.
Guidance for the full financial year
For the full financial year, Kingfisher now wants to increase its pre-tax profit on an adjusted basis ahead of sales, versus in line with sales aimed earlier. In the previous financial year, Kingfisher had posted £756 million of pre-tax profit.
Commenting on the financial update, CEO Thierry Garnier said:
“During the quarter, we established a new agile operating model for our technology and digital teams, and further strengthened these teams with multiple new hires. Secondly, we are excited to have launched Screwfix as a pure-play online retailer in France in late April. Thirdly, our new own exclusive brand kitchen range is now available in all key markets, with very positive results despite lockdown restrictions.”
Kingfisher performed fairly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of close to 25%. At the time of writing, the retail company is valued at £7.81 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 13.23.