Kingfisher, the owner of the B&Q DIY chain, blamed the wettest summer in 100 years for a £30 million drop in profits, with footfall down 20 per cent in some stores.
The FTSE 100 index company – which also owns tools supplier Screwfix as well as Brico Depot and Castorama in France – said record rainfall in the UK and northern Europe helped prompt a 7 per cent drop in seasonal product sales in the 26 weeks to 28 July.
B&Q in the UK and Ireland suffered a 6 per cent like-for-like decline in sales to £2 billion as average footfall plunged 20 per cent in the severely weather-affected weeks.
The wider group reported a 17 per cent slide in bottom line pre-tax profits to £364m in the period as sales dipped 3 per cent to £5.5bn.
Chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “This has been a tough first half with unprecedented wet weather throughout the key spring and summer seasons in northern Europe.
“This affected footfall and demand for outdoor maintenance, gardening and leisure products, which normally account for a significant proportion of our first half sales.”
MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, has said 14.25in (362mm) of rain fell in June, July and August, making it the wettest summer since 1912.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West