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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 11:34 GMT
Kingfisher targets Christmas
diy shop
DIY accounted for an 18% rise in total sales
Kingfisher, which owns UK high street giants Woolworths, Superdrug, Comet and B&Q, has reported that total sales for the third quarter rose 12.5% to 2.92bn, from 2.6bn in the same period last year.

These are encouraging sales figures achieved in a highly competitive environment

Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, CE Kingfisher

Strong sales at the group's DIY stores, such as B&Q Warehouse, lead the growth with an 18% rise in total sales, which the company said was a record figure.

Electricals also had their part to play, achieving growth of just over 9%, helped by the continued strength of Comet in the UK and Darty, the French electricals retailing group.

General merchandise operations also saw some sales growth, particularly Superdrug and the new format Woolworth stores.

"Overall these are encouraging sales figures achieved in a highly competitive environment," said Kingfisher's chief executive Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy.

Key Christmas sales

The company also added that all its businesses were targeting the key Christmas trading period which, as always, will have an important impact on the year's performance.

The results are pretty uninspiring

David Manning, Foreign & Colonial Management

In September, Kingfisher announced that it was to demerge into two; one company containing its electrical and DIY chains and another for general merchandise stores such as Woolworths and Superdrug.

The group also recently announced that it was to expand its ecommerce activities, buying a majority share of Streets Online, the name behind music site Audiostreet.

Despite the growth in sales, shares in Kingfisher fell 5p to 413p in early trading, with analysts pointing to sluggish sales at Woolworth in what should be a busy pre-Christmas period.

"The results are pretty uninspiring," said David Manning, head of UK equities at Foreign & Colonial Management.

The UK retailing environment has been difficult in recent years, with many middle market companies finding their market share shrinking.

However, October sales figures published by Office for National Statistics showed that sales were holding steady despite the weather.

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See also:

31 Oct 00 | Business
Kingfisher buys Streets Online
13 Sep 00 | Business
Kingfisher splits in two
22 Mar 00 | Business
Kingfisher expands online
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