LONDON, July 24 Kingfisher, Europe's
biggest home improvements retailer, returned to underlying sales
growth in its domestic market in its latest quarter, helped by
better British weather.
The firm, which runs the B&Q and Screwfix chains in Britain,
said on Wednesday sales at UK and Ireland stores open more than
a year rose 2.5 percent in the 10 weeks to July 13, the bulk of
its fiscal second quarter.
That compares with analysts' consensus forecast of a rise of
2.2 percent, according to a company poll, and a first-quarter
fall of 4.7 percent blamed on unseasonably cold weather.
Like-for-like sales at Kingfisher's French business,
comprising Castorama and Brico Depot, rose 1.1 percent, ahead of
analysts' consensus forecast of a fall of 0.8 percent
Group like-for-like sales rose 2.5 percent.
The company said it was on track to deliver a first half in
line with internal expectations, though it cautioned that
underlying consumer confidence remained weak in its major