Profits dip as Kingfisher invests in renewal


Profits dip as Kingfisher invests in renewal

Sales at tools and hardware merchant Screwfix Direct grew 24
per cent in the 13 weeks to 2nd February 2008, to £110
million. What’s more, its retail profit for the fiscal year
increased by 6.4 per cent. The figures weren’t quite so strong for
parent company Kingfisher, however: Its overall pretax profits
for the year fell 2.8 per cent, to £397 million, despite a
5 per cent growth in UK sales.

Kingfisher noted that for the first time in three years, “despite operating in a challenging market and with difficult summer weather patterns”, like-for-like figures at its B&Q division were up, albeit by just 0.6 per cent. Total sales grew 4.8 per cent in the first half of the year but only 0.5 per cent in the second half, “reflecting a tougher retail environment”.

B&Q saw sales for fiscal 2007 reach £3.9 billion, up 2.7 per cent from the previous year. The DIY retailer benefited from a revamp last year, including a refreshed website that enables customers to use new room-design and bathroom-planner software, view more than 35,000 products online and check availability in their local stores. Some 6,500 products are available for home delivery.

Further investing in its online channel, B&Q recently appointed Alchemy Worx to review its email marketing activity. The agency will analyse past campaigns to establish how changes in subject lines, frequency, and database segmentation can improve click-through and open rates.

B&Q isn’t the only aspect of the business undergoing renewal. Kingfisher has reorganised its management structure so that the senior management team in each of the three geographic divisions-UK, France and “other international” will be responsible for cross-group activities such as global sourcing, own-brand development, common purchasing, IT, property and global talent management. Philippe Tible, CEO of Castorama France, has been appointed to lead the French division. Superdrug boss Euan Sutherland was named CEO of the UK division .

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