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LONDON - British home improvement retailer Kingfisher reported a small rise in underlying sales in its latest quarter, with growth in its home market, Poland and Romania more than offsetting falling sales in France.
Kingfisher is in the fourth year of a five-year programme that was designed to boost earnings. However, profits actually went backwards in its 2018-19 year and the group said in March it would part company with Chief Executive Véronique Laury, its boss since 2014.
The group, whose main businesses are B&Q and Screwfix inBritain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and elsewhere, said like-for-like sales were up 0.8% in the three months to April 30, its fiscal first quarter.
Like-for-like sales rose 3.4%, 6.2% and 24.6% in the UK & Ireland, Poland and Romania respectively but were down 3.7% in France.
Total group sales were 2.8 billion pounds ($3.6 billion), up 1.7%.
Kingfisher said its expectations for the full 2019-20 year were unchanged.
The group was up against weak comparative numbers in the first quarter. In the same period last year group like-for-like sales fell 4% as adverse weather conditions dented demand.
Shares in Kingfisher, down 17% over the last year, closed Tuesday at 241.8 pence, valuing the business at 5.12 billion pounds.
($1 = 0.7748 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)