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Summer Sales Boost B&Q Owner Kingfisher Plc

Shares in Kingfisher (LSE: KGF) slipped in early trade this morning, following the release of its interim results for the 26 weeks ending 3 August 2013.

Although sales increased on a reported basis by 4.3% to £5.72bn, adjusted pre-tax profit fell by 1.6% to £365m, against £371m in the comparative period last year. The interim dividend was lifted 1% to 3.12p.

Management were quick to admit “ongoing consumer weakness in our three major markets”, with extreme weather in the UK affecting sales (initially negative, as record cold weather in Q1 saw sales of outdoor products dip 10%, while the beginning of the heatwave in Q2 saw them revive by 9%).

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, commented:

“Looking ahead, we remain ready to capitalise on any improvement in conditions or opportunities as they arise, including the potential pick up in the UK housing market. In the meantime, our self-help plan, ‘Creating the Leader’, continues to progress well, including the acquisition of 15 stores in Romania, our first new country entry in seven years. I am also delighted to have received final resolution of the Kesa demerger French tax case, after nine years. Overall, we remain confident in our future prospects.”

Despite the volatile half, Kingfisher does seem to be drawing away from the troubles that surrounded the company 12 months ago — indeed, the B&Q owner’s shares have risen 50% over the past year, well outperforming the FTSE.

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> Sam does not own shares in Kingfisher.