&Q parent firm Kingfisher has revealed that sales of loft insulation materials have more than doubled as customers seeking to improve energy efficiency in their homes helped to boost the retail group.
The company, which also owns Screwfix, recorded higher revenues over the past quarter as the DIY market also benefited from the continued shift towards home working.
Chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “While the market backdrop remains challenging, DIY sales continue to be supported by new industry trends such as more working from home and a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency.”
B&Q reported that sales of loft insulation roll increased by 108% for the three months to October 31, compared with the same period last year, as customers sought to offset rocketing energy prices.
Screwfix shops reported a 29.1% increase in sales of smart thermostats and kits and a 33.7% rise for thermostatic radiator valves.
It came as Kingfisher revealed that total sales grew by 0.6% to £3.26 billion over the three months to October 31, compared with the same period last year. Like-for-like sales were 0.2% higher for the quarter.
Kingfisher added that it has seen a “good start” to trading in the new quarter, with like-for-like sales growth of 2.8% over the three weeks to November 19.
However, the company reduced its profit guidance slightly due to wage inflation, “slightly higher” energy costs and investments in its Screwfix France opening plan.
The company said it is “managing inflationary pressures effectively” but that it now expects a profit of between £730 million and £760 million.
It had previously told investors that profits could be as high as £770 million.
The firm stressed that it is “mindful” of the economic backdrop for customers and will focus on offering value across a range of price points.
Mr Garnier added: “Competitive pricing remains a priority.
“With our customers facing rising living costs, we are determined to make home improvement affordable and accessible, particularly through our own exclusive brands, which represent 45% of our sales.
“While we continue to be vigilant against macroeconomic uncertainty, we remain confident in both the resilience of our industry and in continuing to grow ahead of our markets.”
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