Kingfisher to meet profit forecasts though sales worsen

LONDON Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:13am EST

LONDON Feb 21 (Reuters) - Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvements retailer, said it would meet year profit forecasts even though underlying sales declines worsened in its fourth quarter.

The group, which runs market leader B&Q in Britain and trades as Castorama and Brico Depot in France and elsewhere, said on Thursday sales at stores open over a year fell 3.4 percent in the 14 weeks to Feb. 2.

That compares to a third quarter fall of 2.8 percent.

In Britain like-for-like sales at B&Q fell 6.4 percent - worse than analysts' consensus forecast of down 4.5 percent.

In France, Kingfisher's biggest market, like-for-like sales fell 0.4 percent at Castorama and 4.6 percent at Brico Depot. Analysts' consensus was for declines of 1.6 percent and 5.3 percent respectively.

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