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Interim results for the 26 weeks ended 30 July 2011


15 September 2011


Trading Review – FRANCE

Sales £m 2011/12 2010/11 % Reported Change % Constant Change % LFL
France 2,341 2,185 7.1% 5.5% 4.5%
Retail profit £m 2011/12 2010/11 % Reported Change % Constant Change  
France 201 160 25.8% 23.9%  

France includes Castorama and Brico Dépôt.
2011/12: £1 = 1.14 euro (2010/11: 1.16 euro)
All trading commentary below is in constant currencies

Kingfisher France

Kingfisher France continued to outperform the market with self-help initiatives driving sales ahead 5.5% to £2.3 billion (+4.5% LFL). According to provisional Banque de France data, sales for the home improvement market (1) were up 2.8%. Across the two businesses, one new store was opened, two were relocated and one revamped, adding around 1% new space.

Retail profit grew 23.9% driven by the strong sales growth and higher gross margins (+130 basis points) from increased direct sourcing and continued buying optimisation benefits.

Castorama total sales grew by 4.2% to £1.3 billion (+4.0% LFL) supported by continued progress with the store modernisation programme (66% of total selling space now completed), new range introductions and the innovative 'Do-it-Smart' marketing campaign aimed at making home improvement projects easier for customers.

Seasonal sales were up around 2% boosted by new garden furniture, barbecue and outdoor lighting ranges. Non-seasonal sales were up over 4% with sales of new decorative, bathroom and flooring ranges, supported by new catalogues, performing particularly well.

Brico Dépôt, which more specifically targets the trade professional, delivered total sales growth of 7.1% to £1.1 billion (+5.0% LFL). The trade market (2), which last year declined by 4%, appears to have improved following a pick-up in new housing starts and planning consents.

Self-help initiatives to drive sales and footfall continued to progress well in H1 including a continued extensive programme of range refreshment, more 'arrivages' promotions (rolling programme of one-off special buys) and the re-launch of the Brico Dépôt 'Le Book' pocket-sized catalogue to reinforce Brico Dépôt's value credentials. New shower, indoor tiling and power tool ranges introduced last year performed particularly well (+15% LFL).

(1) Banque de France data excludes the heavier trade market
(2) Private building market Jan-Dec 2010 according to UNIBAL