European home improvement retailer Kingfisher reported a rise in profit and total sales for the first quarter (Q1), aided by more favorable weather conditions.

For the 13 weeks ended May 3, 2014, retail profit climbed 18.8% to £142m. At constant currency, the increase was 20.3%.

Total Group sales improved 6.1% to £2.78bn on reported as well as like-for-like basis. At constant currency, the growth was 9.2%.

In France, total sales edged down 0.2% to £1.08bn, while like-for-like sales were up 1.6%. Retail profit increased 6% to £70m.

In UK & Ireland, total sales climbed 12.4% to £1.20bn. Like-for-like sales were up 10.1%.

The company noted that sales were driven by a later Easter, much better weather compared to the prior-year period, and some encouraging signs in both underlying retail and smaller tradesman market.

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Kingfisher UK & Ireland reported retail profit of £68m, an increase of 35.4%.

Other International total sales increased 6.4% to £506m. Like-for-like growth was 6.8%. Retail profit was £4m, up 25.5% from last year.

Kingfisher chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire said, "We will annualise stronger figures in our second quarter and so, as ever, we will look at the whole of the first half results to properly assess our underlying performance."

Total Group operating margin in first quarter improved to 5.1% from 4.5% in the previous year.

Further, the company has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire home improvement retailer Mr Bricolage in France.

Headquartered in London, UK, Kingfisher has over 1,030 stores in eight countries across Asia and Europe and its brands include B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.