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Kingfisher: first-half profit falls 6.4%

(CercleFinance.com) - Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvement retailer, posted a drop in first-half profit as some disruption impacted sales at B&Q and Castorama France.

The group - which runs the Castorama and Brico Depot chains in France - said on Wednesday that it made a underlying pre-tax profit of 353 million pounds in the 6 months to 31 July, compared with 377 million pounds a year ago.

The company, which also runs market leader B&Q as well as Screwfix in the UK, made a post-tax profit of 171 million pounds in the period, down from 206 million pounds in the same period a year ago.

Kingfisher, which runs over 1,326 stores in nine countries, reported a 1.4% fall in first-half sales, which reached 6 billion pounds, with like-for-like sales down 1.8% with growth in Screwfix, Poland and Romania offset by B&Q and France.

But its gross profit margin rose to 37%, from 36.4%, as the group benefited from its sourcing measures.

Its shares have underperformed the STOXX 600 European retail index by 23% this year and are down 2.4% this Wednesday morning.

Thierry Garnier will join Kingfisher as new CEO next week, succeeding Veronique Laury.

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