LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Kingfisher, Europe’s largest home improvement retailer, on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected rise in first-half profit but said it was cautious on the second-half backdrop in both the UK and France.
The firm, which runs B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other countries, said it made an underlying pretax profit of 440 million pounds ($595 million) in the six months to July 31.
That compared to analysts’ average forecast of 426 million pounds and 436 million pounds made in the same period last year.
The outcome reflected solid growth at Screwfix and in Poland offset by weak French markets and disruption from a restructuring plan.
Kingfisher said although it was cautious on the outlook it was still “comfortable” with full-year consensus underlying earnings per share expectations. ($1 = 0.7393 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)