The price of shares in FTSE 250 retailer Kingfisher (LON:KGF) climbed by 5.95% to 215.20p (as of 15:00 BST) despite the firm reporting a 95% drop in pre-tax statutory profits for the year ended 31st January. Revenues for the period were down by 1.5% with flat gross margins after clearances. Like-for-like sales during the first quarter of the current year were down by 24.8% as COVID-related difficulties hit the group from mid-March.
CEO Thierry Garnier commented: “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, our priorities have been clear – 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.
“At Kingfisher, we are both proud of, and inspired by, the way in which our teams responded to the immense challenges of the last few months. When the various lockdowns began, we rapidly transformed our operations to meet a sharp increase in e-commerce, while adapting our retail space and processes to ensure a safe reopening of stores. In doing so, the social distancing and other health & safety protocols we established have contributed to setting the standard in non-food retailing. We have donated over £2.5 million of PPE to frontline health workers, in line with our commitment to responsible business practices. We have also taken significant actions on costs and cash management that give us a strong financial footing through the crisis and beyond“.