Kingfisher%20HQ,%20London.jpg” alt=”Kingfisher plc, UK” width=”550″ height=”366″ />

UK-based home improvement retailer Kingfisher has reported a 3.6% decrease in total sales and 8.6% decline in retail profit in the first quarter (Q1), impacted by poor weather across Europe and adverse foreign currency translation.

Total group sales in the 13-week period ended 28 April 2012 were £2.63bn, while group profit totalled £160m in the same period.

The retailer said seasonal sales across the group plunged 22% in the first quarter, impacting profit by around £29m.

Sales from UK & Ireland operations declined 6.9% to £1.1bn and retail profit edged down 9.8% to £75m in the reporting quarter, reflecting year-on-year unfavourable weather patterns and fewer public holidays.

B&Q UK & Ireland’s total sales fell 8.9% to £968m and retail profit declined 13.8% to £65m in the first quarter ended April 2012.

Screwfix grew total sales by 10.2% to £137m and the firm opened eight net new outlets during first quarter, taking the total to 223.

Retail profit of Screwfix jumped 31.7% to £11m, reflecting the strong sales growth, more direct sourcing, distribution efficiencies and continued tight cost control.

Kingfisher France sales were up 2.2% to £1.09bn in the 13-week period ended 28 April 2012, while retail profit rose 4.2% to £78m during the period, driven by the sales growth and higher gross margins.

Castorama total sales increased 1.3% to £593m and Brico Depot delivered total sales growth of 3.3% to £496m in the first quarter.

Across both Castorama and Brico Depot, two net new stores were opened and three stores were revamped, adding around 3% new space compared to Q1 last year.

Sales from Kingfisher’s other international operations increased 5.8% to £438m, driven by new store openings offset by adverse weather across continental Europe.

During the first quarter, the company opened two new international stores – one in Spain and the other in Turkey, with 10% new space compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Kingfisher operates 968 stores in eight countries in Europe and Asia and has retail brands such as B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot and Screwfix under its portfolio.

The retailer also has a 50% JV business in Turkey with the Koç Group, and a 21% interest in, and strategic alliance with, German DIY retailer Hornbach.

Image: In the first quarter, Kingfisher’s sales from UK & Ireland operations decreased 6.9% to £1.1bn and retail profit fell 9.8% to £75m. Photo: Minky69