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Kingfisher Plc FY Pretax Profit Declines; LFL Sales Down 1.6%

Kingfisher plc (KGF.L) reported that its statutory pre-tax profit for year ended 31 January 2019, which includes the impact of transformation costs and exceptional items, decreased by 52.8% to 322 million pounds. Earnings per share was 10.2 pence compared to 22.0 pence. Underlying pre-tax profit was 693 million pounds, down 13.0% from prior year. Underlying EPS was 23.8 pence compared to 25.4 pence. Adjusted pre-tax profit declined 16.1% to 573 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share was 19.7 pence compared to 21.7 pence.

Fiscal year total sales increased by 0.3% on a constant currency basis to 11.7 billion pounds, with LFL sales down 1.6%. On a reported rate basis, which includes the impact of exchange rates, sales increased by 0.3%. The Group said, during the year, sales growth benefited from 51 net new stores, mostly driven by 50 Screwfix outlet openings in the UK. Gross margin was 36.9% for the period, flat with prior year.

The Board has proposed a final dividend of 7.49 pence which results in a full year dividend of 10.82 pence. The final dividend will be paid on 15 July 2019 to shareholders on the register at close of business on 7 June 2019.

Looking forward, the Group said it expects fiscal 19/20 gross margin to be flat after incremental clearance costs. Over the medium term, Kingfisher plc targets growth in Group sales, gross margin, retail profit and ROCE.

Separately, Kingfisher plc announced that, as part of the Board's regular talent and succession planning process, a decision has been made to launch the succession process for the position of Group CEO. The Group said this will commence immediately.

Andy Cosslett, Chairman, stated: "We are now moving into a new phase where we can extract more of the benefits resulting from the hard work that has been put in, and it is therefore timely that we commence a succession process."

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