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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 12:58 GMT
B&Q owner to sell Taiwan stores
B&Q store
China is top of Kingfisher's Asian agenda
The owner of B&Q is to sell its DIY stores in Taiwan in order to focus on its fast-growing business in China.

Kingfisher is to sell its 50% stake in B&Q Taiwan, which operates 21 stores, to Taiwanese partner Test Rite Group.

The 51.6m ($106.5m) sale will give Kingfisher a profit of about 25m, which it will use to reduce debt.

The Taiwanese venture was Kingfisher's first in Asia when it opened in 1996 but its focus has since moved to China, where it now has more than 60 outlets.

Further planned expansion there will see it open at least another 40 outlets.

'Springboard'

After 11 years of expansion B&Q Taiwan now offers only limited opportunities for future market share growth
Peter Jackson, Kingfisher chairman

Employing 1,800 staff, the Taiwanese business made Kingfisher a profit of 5m last year.

"Our Taiwanese joint venture has been a success, providing good investment returns for shareholders while also acting as a useful springboard for entering the large and fast-growing mainland Chinese market," said chairman Peter Jackson.

"However, after 11 years of expansion B&Q Taiwan now offers only limited opportunities for future market share growth for Kingfisher."

Several UK retailers, including Tesco, have made big strides in China as rising income levels have boosted demand for consumer goods.

Kingfisher, which also owns the French DIY chain Castorama, recently announced that chief executive Gerry Murphy would step down in February.

SEE ALSO
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