B&Q owner sees profits slump despite £1.4bn in energy-saving sales

Kingfisher, the company behind Screwfix and B&Q, has seen profits plummet from their pandemic highs.

B&Q and Screwfix owner sees profits slump despite £1.4bn in energy-saving sales PA Media

Kingfisher said it expects its falling profits to drop even further this year, as it revealed that more than £1 in every £10 it made last year came from energy and water-saving products.

The company behind Screwfix and B&Q has seen profits plummet from their pandemic highs when people stuck at home were investing in their living spaces.

In the 12 months to the end of January adjusted pre-tax profit hit £758m, a reduction of more than 20%. This year it is expected to fall to around £633m – in line with analysts’ forecasts.

It comes as most businesses face the dual challenge of seeing their costs rise but knowing there is a limit to how much they can increase prices before customers walk away.

Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “We have maintained a sharp focus on pricing to deliver value to our customers during this challenging period for household finances, while at the same time managing our cost inflation pressures effectively.”

Sales dipped 0.9% to £13.1bn, the company said.

Around 11% of this – £1.4bn – came from the sale of energy and water-saving products as households sought to tackle soaring bills.

Kingfisher said it is “well placed” to sell loft insulation, LED lighting, underfloor heating and electric radiators.

It is also looking at other energy-saving solutions, with B&Q recently starting to sell solar panels.

It added: “As the ‘green homes’ agenda accelerates, we see considerable potential for our sustainable home products, in particular in the UK and France where the governments have made net zero commitments.

“The ongoing energy crisis adds weight to the urgent need for governments to increase their support of greener homes and energy efficiency.”

Kingfisher also said it has exceeded its carbon-cutting target as it slashed emissions by nearly 53% compared with the year ending 2017.

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