Interactive Investor

ii view: Kingfisher – a pandemic push

28th September 2020 16:06

Keith Bowman from interactive investor

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A triple-digit online sales gain at this DIY retailer, but is it already in the share price? 

First-half results to 31 July

  • Like-for-like sales down 1.6% to £5.92billion
  • Retail profit up 18% to £533 million
  • No interim dividend payment
  • Net debt down 58% to £1.4 billion

Chief executive Thierry Garnier said:

"We have made progress against the strategic plan announced in June. We are fundamentally reorganising our commercial operating model to serve our customers better. We have accelerated our plans around e-commerce, with a focus on fulfilment from stores. We are continuing to improve our operational performance in France and have introduced new trading approaches at each of our banners. We are testing a number of initiatives, including new concepts, services and partnerships.

"Looking forward, while the near-term outlook is uncertain, the longer term opportunity for Kingfisher is significant. There is a lot more to do, but the new team and new plan is now established in the business and we are committed to returning Kingfisher to growth."

ii round-up:

Kingfisher (LSE:KGF) is a multiformat home improvement retailer. 

It has nearly 1,000 stores in the UK & Ireland, over 200 in France, 80 in Poland and the rest spread across Romania, Iberia and Russia.

Its general DIY brands include B&Q, Castorama, and Brico Dépôt, while brands focused on trade include both Screwfix and TradePoint. 

For a round-up of these latest results, please click here

ii view:

Fresh strategic goals under relatively new chief executive and veteran of French retailer Carrefour (EURONEXT:CA) include growing e-commerce sales, moving to a balanced, simpler local operating model and building a mobile-first, service orientated customer experience. 

Closed stores under Covid-19 have pushed Kingfisher to accelerate its implementation of these goals and pace of change. As such, half-year online sales grew by 164% and now account for nearly a fifth of overall sales compared to 7% in the first half of 2019. The work from home bias under the pandemic has also seen more consumers changing spare rooms to offices. And travel restrictions have left holiday plans abandoned and monies redirected to DIY projects.

For investors, the suspension of the dividend payment has removed a former core attraction. A vaccine and a return to more normal times could also see DIY spending sacrificed in favour of holiday plans for a period, reversing the current trend. But life under the pandemic is for now working in the company’s favour. Early third-quarter sales continued the momentum seen in the positive second quarter.  However, with the share price already doubling since March, some degree of investor caution appears sensible. 

Positives: 

  • Diversity of geographical locations and brand names
  • A new strategic plan including growing online sales

Negatives:

  • Pre-tax profit has fallen for the last three years
  • Dividend payment suspended

The average rating of stock market analysts:

Hold

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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