Kingfisher moves into Romania with 15 store deal

Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:04am EDT

LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - Kingfisher PLC, Europe's largest DIY retailer, has acquired 15 stores in Romania from French retail company Group Bresson for an undisclosed sum, Kingfisher said on Thursday.

Kingfisher said there was a strong DIY culture among homeowners in Romania and there was scope to expand to around 50 stores in the longer term.

The stores recorded sales of 131 million euros in 2012 and core earnings of 5 million euros, a statement from Kingfisher said.

The deal is planned to complete in the next two months and is expected to be earnings neutral in the first year.

The newly acquired stores will be converted into Brico Depot stores, Kingfisher's French format.

"The Brico Depot store model has proved very successful in France and Spain, and we have said before that it has the potential for further international expansion," said Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's Group Chief Executive.

"The home improvement market in Romania has solid growth potential and the stores we are acquiring are in good locations."

The deal increases Kingfisher's selling space by 2 percent, and takes its total store numbers to around 1,050 in nine countries in Europe and Asia.

Shares in Kingfisher, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, opened up 0.1 percent at 292.7 pence.

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