Kingfisher to return capital as profits rise

LONDON, March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:16am EDT

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvements retailer, said it would return about 200 million pounds ($330 million) to shareholders in the current year as it met forecasts with a 4.1 percent rise in 2013-14 profit.

The group, which runs market leader B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and trades as Castorama and Brico Depot in France, also said on Tuesday it would look for a strategic partner for B&Q China, aiming to replicate the partner approach it adopted in Turkey.

Kingfisher made an underlying pretax profit of 744 million pounds in its 2013-14 year.

That compared with analysts' forecasts in a range of 738-748 million pounds and 715 million pounds made in the 2012-13 year.

Kingfisher said the capital return in 2014-15 would be the first of a multi-year programme. ($1 = 0.6065 British Pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)