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Kingfisher updates on Q4 and current trading

Kingfisher plc announces today (23rd March) that it will be complying with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) strong request to all listed companies to delay the publication of  preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks. A link to the FCA’s announcement is included for reference:

https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/fcarequests-delay-forthcoming-announcement-preliminary-financial-accounts.

Kingfisher was one of a number of companies due to announce final results to have received a letter from the FCA on Sunday 22 March. The letter requested a delay to the forthcoming announcement of our preliminary financial statements for the year ended 31 January 2020, scheduled to be announced on Tuesday 24 March.  Further updates will be given as to the timing of the publication of our FY 19/20 results, as soon as we are advised by the FCA.

Given the above, we are providing updates today on how we are managing the impacts of COVID-19, along with our Q4 and FY 19/20 sales, FY 19/20 final dividend, and current trading.

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Commentary
• FY 19/20 total sales -0.8% in constant currency; LFL -1.5%
• Q4 19/20 LFL +1.7%, reflecting operational improvements in France and the implementation of a new trading approach across the Group, including reintroducing trading events
o Improved sales trend in all core retail businesses in the quarter
o In the UK, early results from price investment at Screwfix
o In France, sales performance vs market(3) improved. In February, we performed slightly better than the market, reflecting operational improvements, better store availability, and a new trading approach
o In Poland, improved LFL despite softer market

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Current trading since 1 February 2020

Trading since 1 February up to 14 March (before any COVID-related store closures)
continued the positive trends we saw in Q4 19/20. In February 2020, Group LFL sales were
+7.6%, or +2.3% excluding the leap year impact.
In the first two weeks of this month (up to and including 14 March) Group LFL sales
continued to be positive, with growth across all businesses within our core markets, strongly supported by e-commerce sales.

In the third week of March, the UK continued to be positive, France was severely impacted
by the closure of all its stores and Poland experienced weak footfall and sales. Sales in our
online channel have grown significantly in recent weeks and we are boosting our e-commerce capacity in all markets to meet this demand.

Thierry Garnier, CEO of Kingfisher said:
“We are committed to supporting our communities and governments to manage the COVID19 pandemic. We are very conscious of the anxiety that the outbreak is causing for our colleagues and customers and we’ll do everything we can to support them. At the same time, we are working hard to minimise the impact on our business and financial performance.

Kingfisher’s latest update on COVID-19 can be found here.

Source : Insight DIY & Kingfisher


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