Supply chain improvements at B&Q and Castorama helped Kingfisher boost its third quarter profits by 23.4 per cent.
The group said that at B&Q, underlying gross margins “continued to benefit from better sales of higher margin products, shrinkage reduction and supply chain cost efficiencies”.
Last year (2008-9) B&Q UK reduced the value of stock in the supply chain by £115 million.
And at Castorama in France, it said: “Annual average stock days are now running at 17 less days year on year, driven by a similar stock reduction programme to B&Q UK across the store estate and supply chain improvements.”
Group chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “We progressed well with our key priorities, management, capital and returns. We completed the process of strengthening the broader senior team with a number of key new appointments. Net debt is now down 90 per cent since the start of 2008 and our seven step programme to improve cash returns (‘Delivering Value’) is well established and delivering encouraging results.”
Group retail profit was up 23.4 per cent to £227m on sales up 2.4 per cent to £2.7 billion for the quarter at constant currency rates.