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Kingfisher: record sales but profits drop

Happy with its ebusiness, though

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Retail giant Kingfisher has suffered a 15.9 per cent fall in profits for the year, not including exceptional payments, to £605.8 million.

However by getting £120 million by selling ISP LibertySurf pre-tax profits made it to £691.2 million, just three per cent below 1999's figures.

Sales reached a record level of £12.1bn for the 53 weeks to 3 February, an 11.5 per cent rise on last year.

Kingfisher's French electrical retailer Darty enjoyed a 6.5 per cent growth in sales to £1.2 billion. Profits dropped by 3.8 per cent to £120 million.

At Comet sales leaped 15.6 per cent to £1.13 billion, up from £982 million a year earlier. Profits were up 8.6 per cent to £40.3 million.

There are 8 new Darty stores planned for 2001/2002, but no new Comet stores.

Kingfisher increased its e-commerce investment by £23.2 million.

Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, chief executive, said: "e-Kingfisher has continued to make solid progress with nearly all of our major retail brands now trading on-line. We are convinced of the value of having integrated "clicks and mortar" propositions for the customer, as evidenced by the strong performances of Screwfix and Comet in this area. Overall, our e-commerce activity, including the investment in LibertySurf, has already added significant value for shareholders." ®

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