Kingfisher to Buy Back Stock as Pretax Profit Surges

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Kingfisher to Buy Back Stock as Pretax Profits SurgeEurope biggest home improvement store Kingfisher plans to give back around 200 million pounds ($330 million) to stockholders this fiscal year after full-year profits surged 4.1 percent in 2013, in line with its forecasts.

The group, which trades as Brico Depot and Castorama in France and operates market leader B&Q and Screwfix in UK, also disclosed today that it intends to hunt for a strategic partner to help turn around its B&Q China unit, which has been posting losses.

“Looking ahead we are well placed to benefit from a pick-up in consumer spending as Europe’s economies return to growth,” said Chief Executive Ian Cheshire.

Underlying pretax profit rose to 744 million pounds in the 2013-14 fiscal year, up from 715 million pounds earned in the 201-13 fiscal year. The profit was in line with analysts’ estimates of a range of 738-748 million pounds, according to Reuters.

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Sales jumped 3.5 percent to 11.1 billion pounds on a constant currency basis, while revenues at stores that were open over 12 months grew 0.7 percent.

Kingfisher revealed that despite a tough market conditions in the first quarter, sales improved the rest of the year. However; while it gained market share in its most profitable market France, sales suffered due to weak economic conditions. The company also gained market share in Poland and UK.

Kingfisher closed the year with net cash flow of 238 million, and will pay a full dividend of 9.9 pence a share, representing a 4.7 percent growth. It also revealed that it will open four Screwfix stores in Germany and two Brico Depot outlets in Portugal.

The company’s shares, which have surged 41 percent in the past year, closed at 406.5 pence on Monday, valuing Kingfisher at 9.65 billion pounds.

 To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com