B&Q owner Kingfisher hails turnaround as annual profits jump by 20%

B&Q owner Kingfisher today hailed the success of its four-year turnaround stragtegy after seeing profits more than double to more than �800million over the period.

The group, which also owns Screwfix in the UK and Castorama and Brico Depot in France, said it was now “significantly stronger with an improved customer offer”.

Its profits for the year to January 28 were 20% higher at �807m, compared with �357m in 2007/08, after its UK and Ireland business withstood challenging conditions to grow its return by 11.6% to �271m.

Chief executive Ian Cheshire paid tribute to the group’s self-help initiatives of the last four years and said the next challenge was to turn Kingfisher into a world-class retailer.

He added: “We have much more to do, but I believe Kingfisher is now well on the way to fulfilling its potential as the industry leader in home improvement.”

Targets in the next phase of Kingfisher’s development include finding easier ways for customers to improve their homes. This will include the complete UK roll out of DIY training classes and the launch of B&Q’s You Tube channel with ‘how to’ video instructions.

It will also give customers more ways to shop, including via smartphones and tablet computers.

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Kingfisher said its stock market value has more than doubled to around �7 billion since the launch of its “delivering value” strategy in 2008.

Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, said: “Management’s track record of generating growth in challenging times is firmly established.”