The price of shares in FTSE 100 retailer Kingfisher (LON:KGF) has climbed by 9.52% to 289.90p (as of 15:05 BST) after reporting a 62.4% improvement in pre-tax profits for the half year ended 31st July. Revenues for the period dropped by 1.3% and gross margins were down by 10 basis points. The company has benefitted from strong demand for home improvement products during lockdown and overall costs have been brought under control.
CEO Thierry Garnier commented: “We delivered a resilient financial performance in the first half of the year, with the adverse impact of COVID-19 in Q1 offset by a strong recovery in Q2. This recovery has continued into Q3 to date, with growth across all banners and categories.
The crisis has prompted more people to rediscover their homes and find pleasure in making them better. It is creating new home improvement needs, as people seek new ways to use space or adjust to working from home. It’s also clear that customers are becoming more comfortable with ordering online. And delivering value to consumers is imperative against a challenging economic backdrop.
Through our new strategic direction our retail banners have gained agility and have leveraged their distinct positioning. This has strengthened our market positions and delivered much improved Like-For-Like sales before and after the lockdowns. Our experiences through the crisis have reinforced the benefits of our strategic direction and have made us bolder in our priorities.
We have made progress against the strategic plan announced in June. We are fundamentally reorganising our commercial operating model to serve our customers better. We have accelerated our plans around e-commerce, with a focus on fulfilment from stores. We are continuing to improve our operational performance in France, and have introduced new trading approaches at each of our banners. We are testing a number of initiatives, including new concepts, services and partnerships.
There remains considerable uncertainty around COVID-19 and our near term priorities have not changed – to provide support to the communities in which we operate, to look after our colleagues as a responsible employer, to serve our customers as a retailer of essential goods, and to protect our business for the long term. We remain proud of, and humbled by, the response of our teams to the current challenges.
Looking forward, while the near term outlook is uncertain, the longer term opportunity for Kingfisher is significant. There is a lot more to do, but the new team and new plan is now established in the business and we are committed to returning Kingfisher to growth“.