Interim results for the 26 weeks ended 1 August 2009

17 September 2009

Kingfisher plc announces adjusted pre-tax profits up 35% for the 26 weeks ended 1 August 2009.

Group Financial Summary

 
  2009/10 2008/09 % Total Change (Reported) % Total Change (Constant currency) % Like-for-Like (LFL) change
Sales £5,502m £5,130m +7.3% +1.4% (2.1)%
Retail profit £347m £277m +25.4% +23.5%  
Adjusted pre-tax profit £288m £214m +34.6%    
Adjusted post-tax profit £201m £146m +37.7%    
Adjusted basic EPS 8.6p 6.3p +36.5%    
Interim dividend 1.925p 1.925p      
Net debt £740m (£1,004m as at 31 January 2009)      

Note: Continuing operations only. Joint Venture (JV) and Associate sales are not consolidated. Retail profit is stated before central costs, interest, exceptional items, amortisation of acquisition intangibles and the Group’s share of interest and tax of JVs and associates. Adjusted measures are before exceptional items, financing fair value remeasurements, amortisation of acquisition intangibles, related tax items and tax on prior year items. A reconciliation to statutory amounts is set out in the Financial Review.

Highlights (in constant currencies)

  • Good progress with the 7 step ‘Delivering Value’ plan
  • Group total sales up 1.4% with continued share gains in our major markets
  • Group retail profit up 23.5%, driven by strong growth in the UK and Poland
  • French sales and retail profit held flat in a weaker environment, supported by new margin and cost initiatives
  • UK & Ireland sales up 1.2%, retail profit up 59.3%. B&Q profit up 66% benefiting from sales growth and continuing margin and cost improvements
  • Other International sales up 5.2%, profits up 26.5% with continued strong growth in Poland, stabilised losses in China and resilient trading in Russia, Turkey and Spain
  • China repositioning plan on track, store portfolio now rationalised from 63 to 48 and downsizing and revamps underway. Trading in line with our expectations
  • Net debt reduced by 26% (at reported rates) in H1, down over 50% year on year. Free cash flow of £347m of which around £280m was used to repay outstanding bonds and loans early

Statutory reporting

 
  2009/10  2008/09 Reported Change
Profit before taxation £288m £206m +39.8%
Post-tax profit attributable to equity shareholders £201m £147m +36.7%
       
Basic EPS – total operations 8.5p 6.3p +34.9%

Note: Statutory reporting is continuing operations only and after net exceptional charges (2009/10: £nil; 2008/09: £(11)m)

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, said:

“We have delivered a strong set of results against a generally tough economic backdrop in our major markets. We grew market share and our self help initiatives are working, particularly in the UK, where a stronger B&Q was able to capitalise on better weather and the renewed consumer interest in the home and DIY.

“Our more unified management approach across the Group is really starting to deliver, enabling us to strengthen the business for the longer term whilst also managing our margins, costs and cash effectively.

“Looking forward, given widespread economic uncertainty, we continue to plan for challenging times. However, we will retain flexibility in our trading plans and stay focused on our self help initiatives so that while managing the business tightly we can capitalise on better demand as it arises and progress our ‘Delivering Value’ plan.”

Delivering Value - progress in 2009/10

Our aim is to deliver a step-change in value for Kingfisher shareholders by focusing on three key priorities – Management, Capital and Returns.

The senior management team, which now has collective responsibility for overall Group performance, is working effectively together, running the Group in a more unified way. They have strengthened the next level of senior management and extended the share based incentive scheme to this broader group. Share incentives have also been extended to store managers in the UK and France. Capital expenditure has been significantly reduced and reprioritised to target higher and faster payback investments. Following the sale of the lower returning Italian business and successful initiatives to reduce working capital across the Group, net debt has been halved year on year. The seven step programme to improve returns, known as ‘Delivering Value’ is also on track. Progress against our 2009/10 milestones is set out below:  

1. Driving up B&Q UK & Ireland’s profit

Self help measures to rebuild operating margins delivering results.

2009/10 first half progress

  • Stores
    • 8 lower cost large store revamps (under £1 million per store compared with the previous £2.5 million), 4 large store ‘showroom only’ revamps (kitchen, bathroom and bedroom areas of the store) and 5 medium store revamps completed
  • Product and Service
    • Premium ‘Cooke & Lewis’ kitchen range extended to bathrooms
    • ‘Reserve and Collect’ on diy.com rolled out nationally
    • 12,000 products for next day home delivery on diy.com added utilising the Screwfix existing home fulfilment network
    • Self-service checkout now in 211 stores
    • New monthly store team bonus introduced linked to sales, store profit and maintaining of store operating standards
  • Margin and Costs
    • 1 of 4 distribution centres closed, gross margin benefit of 20bps
    • 60 new, more productive double-decker distribution trailers introduced
    • Shrinkage reduced, gross margin benefit of 30 bps
    • Operating costs down 1%

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Stores
    • 3 medium store revamps, 76 ‘showroom only’ revamps (focusing on the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom areas of the store), costing under £50k per store
  • Product and Service
    • Trial of extended installation services in Scottish stores (flooring, lighting and tiling)
    • Complete the roll out of self-service checkout
    • Continue the new, enhanced staff training programme (6,500 NVQs, 5,000 City & Guilds)
  • Margin and Costs
    • Roll out around 60 more double-decker distribution trailers
    • Reduce overall operating costs by 1% year on year

2. Exploiting our UK Trade opportunity

Screwfix offer extended. B&Q in-store Trade Point trial launched.       

2009/10 first half progress

  • Opened 7 new Screwfix outlets
  • Launched ‘Electricfix’, a new specialist mail order catalogue operated by Screwfix exclusively for qualified electricians
  • 4 Screwfix outlets tailored to incorporate separate ‘Plumbfix’ (for qualified plumbers) and ‘Electricfix’ points of sale
  • B&Q in-store trade offer (‘Trade Point’) on trial in 4 stores maximising synergies with Screwfix

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Extend ‘Trade Point’ trial to at least a further 4 stores
  • Open 1 further Screwfix outlet

3. Expanding our total French business

2% new space added. Buying optimisation and cost reduction programmes delivering ahead of plan.

2009/10 first half progress

  • Opened 4 net new stores, 1 relocation and 4 revamps, adding 2% new space
  • Buying optimisation programme underway
  • Stock shrinkage rates reduced, gross margin benefit of 10bps
  • Delivered operating cost savings of €37m

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Extend buying optimisation initiatives
  • Achieve a further €28m operating cost savings to secure full year target of €65m

4. Rolling out in Eastern Europe

8% space added since last year end. Sales and profit growth continued.

2009/10 first half progress

  • Opened 5 new stores, 2 in Poland, 2 in Turkey and 1 in Russia
  • Total sales grew 13.2% (including 100% Turkey JV) to £0.7 billion*

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Open a further 10 new stores, 4 in Poland, 3 in Turkey and 3 in Russia
  • Full year total sales (including 100% Turkey JV) targeted to reach £1.7 billion*

* In constant currencies

5. Turning around B&Q China 

Repositioning plan on track.

2009/10 first half progress

  • Store portfolio rationalised from 63 to 48, 2 stores downsized
  • New store format trialled in Shanghai, a further 5 stores now in the new format
  • New single room make-over and single product installation service launched
  • Working capital reduction in line with target

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Complete the store rationalisation programme, 48 to 42 stores
  • Extend new format trial to another 7 stores before commencing roll out

As a result of the turnaround activity, and subject to our expectations of a sustainable stabilisation of the market, Kingfisher is targeting a return to a profitable business model during the second half of 2010 and for the business as a whole to return to profitability in 2011.  

6. Growing Group sourcing

Group sourcing levels increasing, led by the UK and France.

2009/10 first half progress

  • Number of product lines increased by 11%
  • Shipped volumes increased by 28%
  • B&Q and Castorama France progressing well with coordinating more direct sourced ranges for 2010, e.g. 25% of next year’s outdoor leisure range will be the same where previously there was no commonality.

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Continue to increase volume of direct sourced shipments
  • Continue to extend the number of direct sourced product lines

7. Reducing working capital

Good progress on working capital improvements.

2009/10 first half progress

  • Overall moving annual average stock days running at 8 less days year on year, eg B&Q UK & Ireland running at 9 days lower whilst product availability for customers reached record levels
  • Overall moving annual average debtor days running at 2 less days year on year
  • Payment terms on direct sourced product extended by 20 days

2009/10 second half milestones

  • Further extend payment terms on direct sourced product
  • Full year working capital target remains a reduction of £50 million (at constant currencies), despite material effects from legislative changes shortening French payment terms.

Operational Review - FRANCE

Retail sales £m 2009/10 2008/09 % Change (Reported) % Change (Constant) % LFL Change
France 2,209 1,927 14.7% 0.1% (3.5)%
Retail profit £m 2009/10 2008/09 % Change (Reported) % Change (Constant)
France 146 128 14.4% -

France includes Castorama and Brico Dépôt.
2009/10 £1 = 1.12 euro (2008/09 £1 = 1.28 euro)

All trading commentary below is in constant currencies.

Kingfisher France

Kingfisher France continued to outperform the market, delivering flat total sales of £2.2 billion (-3.5% LFL) during H1, despite the weaker sales environment. According to Banque de France* comparable DIY store sales for the market as a whole were down 4% compared with Kingfisher’s comparable stores down 3%. Across the two businesses, four net new stores were opened, one was relocated and four 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. Decisive management action to flex store costs and reduce central costs generated savings of £33 million, a cost to sales ratio reduction of 150 basis points, helping to support retail profit margin.

Castorama total sales grew 0.3% to £1.2 billion (-1.4% LFL, -0.6% on a comparable store basis) supported by its modernisation programme. Seasonal categories were up 2.6% LFL, benefiting from favourable weather and a new catalogue. Non-seasonal LFL sales were down around 2%. Stores trading in the new format, now representing 57% of total selling space, continue to significantly outperform.

Brico Dépôt, which more specifically targets the professional tradesman, delivered flat total sales of £1.0 billion (-6.0% LFL). Trade demand has been weakened by the slowdown in housing starts (down 22%) and big project planning consents (down 19%). A number of self help initiatives including introducing new ranges, stepping up the ‘arrivages’ promotions (rolling programme of one-off special buys) and securing cost savings are underway.

Operational Review – UK & Ireland

Retail sales £m 2009/10 2008/09 % Change (Reported) % Change (Constant) % LFL Change
UK & Ireland 2,401 2,365 1.5% 1.2% (0.3)%
Retail profit £m 2009/10 2008/09 % Change (Reported) % Change (Constant)
UK & Ireland 148 93 59.4% 59.3%

UK & Ireland includes B&Q in the UK & Ireland and Screwfix. Prior year figures include Trade Depot.
2009/10 £1 = 1.12 euro (2008/09 £1 = 1.28 euro)

All trading commentary below is in constant currencies.

Kingfisher UK & Ireland

Kingfisher UK & Ireland delivered total sales up 1.2% to £2.4 billion (-0.3% LFL) and retail profit up 59.3%, supported by strong sales, gross margin benefits and further cost initiatives. The total home improvement market* was relatively resilient, down only around 1%, with better weather and renewed consumer interest in the home and DIY helping offset the negative impacts of the recession and weak housing market. However, consumer appetite for bigger ticket projects remains weak, making the trade market more challenging. Kingfisher’s UK businesses in aggregate outperformed the market.

* Market data from GfK for the UK leading retailers of home improvement products and services (including new space). However, this data excludes private retailers eg Ikea and smaller independents.

B&Q UK & Ireland’s total reported sales grew 2.6% (+1.4% LFL) to £2.2 billion. More favourable weather boosted sales of outdoor products, up almost 7% (2008/09 seasonal sales down 10%). Kitchen, bathroom and bedroom sales were up around 4%, helped by improved merchandising and new ranges, continued good sales growth from revamped large stores as well as recent competitor withdrawal. This was despite weak consumer appetite for bigger ticket purchases. Sales of DIY and decorative products remained relatively resilient, down around 2%, supported by increasing consumer interest in DIY and low-cost room makeovers.

Retail profit grew 66.0% to £137 million. Gross margins were up around 100 basis points, despite tough comparatives (2008/09: +150 basis points) due to lower mark down activity, better sales of higher margin products, shrinkage reduction and supply chain cost efficiencies. A strong focus on operating cost efficiencies also continued, resulting in an overall cost reduction of around 1% despite underlying cost inflation and new store space of 1% each.

Following successful trials of a lower-cost large store revamp (£1 million versus £2.5 million for a standard revamp), a further eight were completed during H1. The lower-cost revamps incorporate most of the features of a standard revamp including more clearly defined shop-within-shop sections, room-set displays and more space allocated to kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, tiling and flooring areas. The key savings come from recycling existing fixtures, less in-store category relocation and faster completion which minimises trading disruption. To enable an acceleration of the programme, a more limited revamp was also successfully trialled during H1 which focuses only on the main showroom categories (kitchen, bathroom and bedroom). In addition, five medium format stores were revamped. B&Q UK & Ireland now has 119 large stores (65 in the modern format) and 211 medium stores (of which 181 have been modernised). Overall net space increased 1% during H1 with a similar increase expected for the balance of year.

In a much more challenging trade market Screwfix limited the impact to a total sales decline of 5.8% to £236 million, supported by the continued roll out of trade counters and the new ‘Plumbfix’ and ‘Electricfix’ specialist mail order catalogues. Seven trade counters were opened during H1, taking the total to 145, with over half of total sales now generated from these physical outlets.

Retail profit was £11 million, down £3 million compared to the same period last year, reflecting a continued tight focus on cost management which helped to partially offset the impact of lower sales.

Operational Review – OTHER INTERNATIONAL

Retail sales £m 2009/10 2008/09 % Change (Reported) % Change (Constant) % LFL Change
Other International 892 838 6.4% 5.2% (3.5)%
Retail profit £m 2009/10 2008/09 % Change (Reported) % Change (Constant)
Other International 53 56 (5.8)% 26.5%

Other International includes Poland, China, Spain, Russia, Turkey JV and Hornbach in Germany. Continuing operations only. JV and Associate sales are not consolidated. Prior year figures have been restated to exclude Ireland.
2009/10 £1 = 5.09 Polish zloty (2008/09 £1 = 4.38 Polish zloty)
2009/10 £1 = 9.96 Chinese renminbi (2008/09 £1 = 13.82 Chinese renminbi)
2009/10 £1 = 1.12 euro (2008/09 £1 = 1.28 euro)

All trading commentary below is in constant currencies.

Other International total sales increased 5.2% to £892 million. LFL sales were down 3.5% reflecting continued high LFL declines in China. Retail profit was, however, up 26.5% to £53 million, reflecting growth in Poland, Spain and Hornbach (21% economic interest), and lower losses in China.

During H1, six stores opened, two in Poland (one Castorama and one Brico Depot), two in Turkey and one each in Russia and Spain.

In Eastern Europe sales in Poland were up 11.4% to £493 million (+2.1% LFL despite a tough comparative of +11.6%) and retail profits were up 12.4% to £63 million reflecting good sales growth in decoration, supported by new paint ranges and a good response to the new garden catalogue. Gross margins benefited from sales of higher margin products and buying scale benefits. Costs grew slower than sales due to tight cost control. Russia continued to be encouraging (+3.1% LFL) in a slower market and in Turkey, Kingfisher’s 50% JV, Koçtaş grew retail profits due to tight cost control, despite sales (-3.9% LFL) being affected by weakening demand.

Elsewhere, Spain delivered its first retail profit and Hornbach, in which Kingfisher has a 21% economic interest, contributed £14 million to retail profit, up 3.6%.

B&Q China sales declined 18.0% to £222 million (-17.7% LFL) with losses of £22 million, slightly lower than last year on a constant currency basis (sterling having weakened 28% versus the Chinese renminbi compared with the same period last year). Sales continued to decline in a weak housing market which has particularly impacted B&Q China’s internal design and apartment fit out business. Although housing activity did pick up in most markets during H1 this has yet to translate into stronger consumer demand for home improvement.

The repositioning plan previously announced with the preliminary results in March 2009 continues on track. The store portfolio has been rationalised from 63 to 48 and two stores have been downsized. Six stores are now trading in the new format and providing good learning prior to commencing roll out. The trial will be extended to a further seven stores in H2.

Financial Review

Financial summary

Sales grew 7.3% to £5.5 billion (2008/09: £5.1 billion), up 1.4% on a constant currency basis. The increase in sales was largely driven by share gains in our major markets. During H1, one net additional store was added taking the total store network to 824, including Turkey JV. On a like-for-like basis, Group sales were down 2.1% (2008/09: (2.6)%.

Retail profit grew 25.4% to £347 million (2008/09: £277 million), up 23.5% on a constant currency basis. The effect on reported retail profit of movements in foreign exchange rates was minimal, with a favourable impact of the stronger euro largely offset by adverse impacts of the weaker Polish zloty and stronger Chinese renminbi (the latter due to losses in China). Profit growth was driven by higher sales, improved margins and operating cost efficiency improvements. Central costs were flat year on year.

Operating profit before exceptional items grew 28% to £320 million (2008/09: £250 million) driven by strong growth in the UK and Poland. Operating profit after exceptional items was also £320 million (2008/09: £239 million) as there were no exceptional items in H1 (2008/09: £11 million charge).

A reconciliation of statutory profit to adjusted profit is set out below:

  2009/10
£m
2008/09
£m
Movement
%
Profit before taxation 288 206 40%
Exceptional items - 11  
Profit before exceptional items and taxation 288 217 33%
Financing fair value remeasurements - (3)  
Adjusted pre-tax profit 288 214 35%
Income tax expense on pre-exceptional profit (90) (69)  
Impact of prior year items on income tax 3 -  
Income tax on fair value remeasurements - 1  
Adjusted post-tax profit 201 146 38%
Minority interests 3 1  
Adjusted post-tax profit attributable to equity shareholders 204 147 39%

Net finance costs decreased by £1 million to £32 million (2008/09: £33 million). Lower average net debt levels reduced net finance costs by £10 million but this was largely offset by a £9 million increase in the non cash accounting charge arising from a higher deficit on the defined benefit pension scheme.   

  2009/10
£m
2008/09
£m
Cash    
Interest on net debt (31) (43)
     
Non Cash    
Interest (charge)/return on defined benefit pension scheme (2) 7
Other 1 3
Statutory net interest (32) (33)

The effective tax rate on profit before exceptional items, prior year adjustments and adjustments in respect of changes in tax rates is 30% (2008/09: H1 32%, full year 31%), based on current expectations for the full 2009/10 financial year. The reduction reflects the Group’s changing geographical profit mix.

French tax receipt

On 7 September, following a favourable tax ruling in France, the Group received a refund of the €138 million exceptional tax liability paid by Kingfisher in 2003/04 relating to the Kesa Electricals demerger plus a further €31 million repayment supplement. As the French tax authorities have indicated that they will appeal the ruling, the Group has not recognised the €169 million as an asset in the current period (2008/09: £nil).

Profit after tax (attributable to equity shareholders) increased to £201 million (2008/09: £147 million).

Adjusted basic earnings per share (EPS) increased to 8.6p (2008/09: 6.3p).  Continuing basic EPS increased to 8.5p (2008/09: 5.9p). A reconciliation from basic to adjusted basic EPS is provided in Note 8.

Free cash flow of £347 million was generated in the half year, an improvement of £151 million year on year largely due to increased profits, a reduction in working capital and lower capital expenditure. The working capital reduction benefitted from the fact that creditors are seasonally higher at the half year than at the year end. A reconciliation of free cash flow and cash flow movement in net debt is set out below:

  2009/10
£m
2008/09
£m
Operating profit (before exceptional items) 320 250
Other non cash items 1 127 127
Change in working capital (before exceptional items) 163 125
Change in pensions and provisions (before exceptional items) (13) (15)
Operating cash flow 597 487
Interest paid (36) (37)
Tax paid (79) (53)
Net capital expenditure (135) (201)
Free cash flow 347 196
Dividends paid (80) (80)
Exceptional items excluding property disposals (24) (5)
Discontinued operations - 27
Other 2 4 1
Cash flow movement in net debt 247 139

1 Includes depreciation and amortisation, share-based compensation charge, share of post-tax results of JVs and associates and profit/loss on retail disposals.
2 Includes dividends received from JVs and associates and dividends paid to minority interests.

Net debt decreased to £740 million (31 January 2009: £1,004 million; 2 August 2008: £1,448 million). The decrease in net debt is largely due to a strong trading performance, a reduction in working capital and reduced capital expenditure. Net debt is reconciled in Note 14. As at 17 September 2009 the Group had undrawn committed facilities of £500 million with no significant debt maturities until 2010. During H1, the Group bought back bonds, which mature in 2010, with nominal values of €120 million and £65 million and repaid sterling loans of £75 million and £33 million of renminbi loans in China.

The maturity profile of Kingfisher’s debt is illustrated at:

The IAS 19 net pension position at 1 August 2009 was a deficit of £244 million, compared with £74 million at 31 January 2009. The net pension position is reconciled in Note 11. The deterioration of the position since 31 January 2009 is largely due to a reduction in the discount rate used in calculating the obligation of the Group from 6.5% to 6.0% as a result of market movements on bond yields and falls in the fair value of the pension scheme assets.

The interim dividend is proposed at 1.925p per share, unchanged on the prior year. The ex-dividend date will be 7 October 2009 and the dividend will be paid on 12 November 2009, to those shareholders who are on the Register of Members at the close of business on 9 October 2009. Shareholders are able to take this dividend as cash or in shares, through the Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP). Shareholders who wish to elect for the DRIP for the forthcoming interim dividend but have not already done so must notify the Registrars, Computershare Investor Services plc, by 22 October 2009. 

Risks

The Board considers risk assessment, identification of mitigating actions and internal control to be fundamental to achieving Kingfisher’s strategic objectives. The Board considers that the principal risks to achieving its objectives, which remain principally unchanged from those set in the 2008/09 Annual Report and Accounts, are set out below:

  • Economic conditions
  • New and emerging markets
  • Health and safety
  • Application of IT
  • Attracting and retaining the best people
  • Strategy effectiveness
  • Supply chain architecture
  • Execution of store revamps
  • Investment opportunities
  • Group synergies
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Regulatory

Further details of the Group risks and risk management process can be found on pages 25 to 28 of the 2008/09 Annual Report and Accounts.

Operational Review - DATA BY COUNTRY as at 1 August 2009

  Store numbers Selling space
(000s sq.m.)
Employees
(FTE)
Castorama 101 1,011 12,437
Brico Dépôt 100 547 6,205
Total France 201 1,558 18,642
B&Q UK & Ireland 330 2,464 23,675
Screwfix 145 13 2,672
Total UK & Ireland 475 2,477 26,347
Poland 53 402 8,900
China 48 465 8,163
Spain 16 95 853
Russia 8 72 1,714
Turkey JV 23 123 2,161
Total Other International 148 1,157 21,791
Total 824 5,192 66,780

Operational Review – SECOND QUARTER BY GEOGRAPHY  – 13 weeks ended 1 August 2009

  Retail Sales 2009/10 £m % Total Change(Reported) % Total Change(Constant currency) % LFL Change Retail Profit 2009/10£m % Total Change (Reported) % Total Change(Constant currency)
France 1,145 11.2% (1.2)% (4.0)% 93 11.2% (1.9)%
UK & Ireland 1,210 Flat (0.3)% (1.2)% 85 38.1% 37.9%
Other International 506 4.9% 6.3% (1.4)% 41 2.5% 29.0%
Total Group 2,861 5.1% 0.4% (2.4)% 219 18.2% 16.2%

Note: Continuing operations only. JV and Associate sales are not consolidated. Retail profit is stated before central costs, exceptional items, amortisation of acquisition intangibles, and the Group’s share of interest and tax of JVs and associates.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain statements that are forward-looking and are therefore subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied because they relate to future events. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements

Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of relevant terminology including the words: “believes”, “estimates”, “anticipates”, “expects”, “intends”, “plans”, “goal”, “target”, “aim”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “could” or “should” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology and include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout this press release and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations and those of our officers, directors and employees concerning, amongst other things, our results of operations, financial condition, changes in tax rates, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the businesses we operate.

Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those estimated by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, global economic business conditions, monetary and interest rate policies, foreign currency exchange rates, equity and property prices, the impact of competition, inflation and deflation, changes to regulations, taxes and legislation, changes to consumer saving and spending habits; and our success in managing these factors.

Consequently, our actual future financial condition, performance and results could differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set out in our forward-looking statements.  The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward- looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Enquiries:

Ian Harding, Group Communications Director
020 7644 1029

Nigel Cope, Head of Communications
020 7644 1030

Sarah Gerrand, Head of Investor Relations
020 7644 1032

Company Profile:

Kingfisher plc is Europe’s leading home improvement retail group and the third largest in the world, with over 820 stores in eight countries in Europe and Asia.  Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix. Kingfisher also has a 21% interest in, and strategic alliance with Hornbach, Germany’s leading large format DIY retailer.

Further copies of this announcement can be downloaded from www.kingfisher.com or by application to: The Company Secretary, Kingfisher plc, 3 Sheldon Square, London, W2 6PX.

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