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A bumper year for Kingfisher, despite challenging markets

The British DIY retailer's annual profit climbs 30.1 per cent

The UK-based home-improvements retailer Kingfisher has reported a profit of £639m for the year ended 28 January 2012 – an increase of 30.1 per cent, compared to £491m for the same period in 2011. Gross profit was £4.08bn, while operating profit was £807m.

The company, which has more than 900 stores in eight countries across Europe and Asia, reported sales of £10.83bn during 2011-2012 (2010-2011: £10.45bn). After a prolonged squeeze in consumers’ disposable incomes in the UK, rising profits – also seen in other businesses such as the fashion outlet Next – suggest that conditions are improving for UK retailers.

The company’s retail profits in France increased 20 per cent to £423m; those in the UK and Ireland climbed 11.6 per cent to £271m. Other international markets saw profits rise by 13.2 per cent to £188m.

Ian Cheshire, CEO of Kingfisher, said: “I believe Kingfisher is now well on the way to fulfilling its potential as the industry leader in home improvement. This is an exciting prospect for both our colleagues and our shareholders. Industry leadership will bring with it an outperformance in sales, profit and economic return, making Kingfisher a more valuable business.”

In February 2012, the company made changes to the roles and responsibilities of its executive team in a bid to provide the right organisational leadership for the future.

“Whilst the immediate economic outlook remains uncertain, we face the future in robust shape and with our successful self-help approach now embedded in the way we do business,” concluded Cheshire.

As of 28 January 2012, the company had total assets of £9.63bn and total liabilities of £3.91bn. It reduced financial net debt from £1.6bn to £88m.