Week ahead: B&Q, Kingfisher to reveal weather impact

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TWO of the biggest operators in the DIY sector will reveal the impact of poor weather and a subdued housing market this week.

B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher looks set for more disappointing quarterly figures on Thursday, with concerns growing that its poor performance could be about more than just the weather.

Sales of gardening and DIY products this year are likely to have been hit by the prolonged cold spell which extended into March. But analysts are also worried about Kingfisher’s revenues being threatened by a shift from “do-it-yourself” to “do-it-for-me”, while there is concern over possible structural problems in the business.

The latest trading update, covering the period from February to April, is the first since full-year results in March showed annual profits and sales tumbling, with the fall blamed on a wet summer and weak consumer confidence.

Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald forecast that operating profits fell to £156 million, from £160m for the same period last year.

And Topps Tiles, the UK’s largest tile and wood flooring retailer, is expected to report another dent in profits tomorrow as it unveils half-year figures.

The group, which has 320 stores across the UK, warned earlier this year that it expected to see underlying pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of March fall to around £4.3m, compared with £5.6m for the same period last year. It said like-for-like revenues were expected to have fallen by 0.3 per cent.

The company said it was facing weaker-than-expected demand, but cost cuts would help it meet full-year profit forecasts of £13.3m to £13.8m.