U.K. home improvement retailer Kingfisher (KGFHY) saw sales advance 3.0% in the second quarter thanks to multi-channel sales and wider product offerings and despite uncertainty caused by the U.K.'s Brexit vote.
The London-based retailer, which has presence more than 10 European countries, said same-store sales for the three months through July 31 rose 3.0% year-on-year on a constant currency basis to £3.03 billion ($4.0 billion) from £2.8 billion. The company only disclosed sales figures for the second quarter.
Sales were up 7.2% in U.K. and Ireland. This included an increase of 5.6% at B&Q U.K. & Ireland, which sells a broad range of do-it-yourself supplies ranging from grass trimmers to storage units to wall paint. Meanwhile, sales jumped 13.3% at Screwfix, whose product line ranges from power tools to padlocks. The company attributed growth at B&Q to sales transference stemming from store closures, and at Screwfix to its success in the multi-channel sales method as well as wider product ranges and new stores.
"In the U.K., the E.U. referendum result has created uncertainty for the economic outlook, although there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand so far on our businesses," said chief executive officer Véronique Laury.
Same-store sales in the "other regional" area advanced 7.0% — up 7.3% in Poland, 5.8% in Russia, and 4.3% in Spain. Strength in Poland was thanks to a supportive market and new ranges, the firm said. Meanwhile, same-store sales in France fell 3.2%, down 3.3% at Castorama and down 3.1% at Brico Dépôt. Kingfisher attributed the weakness in France to "exceptionally" wet weather and strike action.
In the first six months, gross margin likely rose 50 basis points in France thanks to promotional activities, and 150 basis points in Poland thanks to strong sales, the company said. Meanwhile, gross margin likely dropped 100 basis points in the U.K. due to deterioration in sales mix resulting from growth in Screwfix, clearance sales ahead of B&Q store closures, and higher proportion of omnichannel sales, the company said.
Kingfisher shares recently rose 1.5% to 363.3 pence. Shares have advanced nearly 10% in the past month.