B&Q’s owner Kingfisher issues a second profit warning due to falling demand overseas

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, has issued its second profit alert in just six months following a drop in sales in France.

The DIY retailer has cut its profit expectations for the year again by £30m , now expecting adjusted earnings of £560m.

This was a downgrade from September, when Kingfisher had forecast profits adjusted to £634m by the end of the January.

Kingfisher shares fell more than 6pc in the morning on Wednesday, becoming the largest faller of the FTSE 100. The company’s value is more than a quarter lower than it was in February.

Kingfisher said that the lower profit forecasts are due to worse conditions in France where more homeowners have backed off on renovations because of pressures from cost-of-living.

Thierry Garnier, chief executive, said: “Reflecting a weak French market and despite our proactive cost-cutting actions, we’ve lowered our profit guidance for the entire year.”

The latest retail trade figures released by Banque de France show that DIY sales in France fell 2.1pc in September, compared with August. This is one of the poorest performing market segments for the month.

Kingfisher also said that it was hit by the warmer weather conditions which resulted in a reduced demand for insulation material.

Kingfisher sales fell 3.9pc in the three months leading up to the end October.

The company’s Castorama store in Poland saw a 9pc drop.

On a similar basis, sales were down 3.9pc both in Spain and Portugal and 3pc respectively in Romania.

Garnier stated that he will be prioritising growth in market share next year in Britain, France, and Poland, as well as trying to offset wage inflation.

Kingfisher also expects costs to rise next year “albeit at a lower level”.