Preliminary results for the year ended 30 January 2010
25 March 2010
Trading Review - FRANCE
|Sales £m||2009/10||2008/09||% Change
|Retail profit £m||2009/10||2008/09||% Change
France includes Castorama and Brico Dépôt.
All trading commentary below is in constant currencies.
Kingfisher France total sales were £4.2 billion (-3.4% LFL, -3.0% on a comparable store basis) in a weak consumer environment. According to Banque de France* sales for the market on a comparable store basis were down around 3%. Across the two businesses, four net new stores were opened, one was relocated and five were revamped, adding around 2% new space.
*Banque de France data including relocated and extended stores
Retail profit margins were maintained benefiting from broadly flat gross margins, with higher own-brand sales penetration and buying optimisation benefits offsetting increased promotional activity across both businesses. Decisive management action to flex store costs and reduce costs meant the full year target of €65 million was achieved, helping to support retail profit margin.
Castorama delivered broadly flat total sales of £2.2 billion (-1.7% LFL, -0.9% on a comparable store basis) supported by its modernisation programme. Stores trading in the new format, now representing 57% of total selling space, continue to significantly outperform.
Seasonal categories were up around 1% LFL, benefiting from favourable weather and a new catalogue. Non-seasonal sales were down around 2% across most categories although energy saving products (representing around 11% of sales) and new ranges outperformed.
Strong working capital improvements were delivered across the year. Annual average stock days were reduced by 16 days year on year, driven by a store stock reduction programme and supply chain improvements.
Brico Dépôt, which more specifically targets the professional tradesman, delivered total sales down 1.2% to £2.0 billion (-5.4% LFL). Trade demand has been weak across the year (market* down 11% across the year), impacted by the slowdown in housing starts (down 17%) and big project planning consents (down 18%). Self-help initiatives progressed well, including updated catalogues, new ranges (e.g. kitchens +5% LFL, bathrooms +7% LFL) and the stepping up of 'arrivages' promotions (rolling programme of one-off special buys).
*Private building market down 11% (Jan-Dec 09) according to UNIBAL