B&Q owner Kingfisher counted the cost of the changeable weather today as it reported a fall in first-half profits.
The group, which also owns the Screwfix chain and French businesses Brico Depot and Castorama, said an improvement in trading during the second quarter could not overcome the impact of poor weather in the first three months of the year.
Although total group sales for the six months to 3 August grew 4.3 per cent to £5.7 billion, adjusted pre-tax profits dipped 1.6 per cent to £365 million – in line with analysts’ forecasts.
Chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “After a difficult first quarter, in which sales and profits were affected by record bad weather, we were able to capitalise on the better weather in the second quarter particularly in the UK.
“However, underlying consumer confidence remains weak in our major markets, so we continue to focus hard on our self-help initiatives to drive growth, margin and cost efficiencies.”
The interim dividend, to be paid on 15 November, was lifted 1 per cent to 3.12p a share.