23rd March 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning If all goes to plan, later today the UK and Ireland should be named as hosts of Euros 2028… after being the only bidders. Russia had been in contention but abandoned their bid following the invasion of Ukraine while Turkey had been unsuccessful in several previous efforts and did not want to challenge the British and Irish bid. Here's hoping to a better ending than last summer's Euros!
- B&Q owner joins exclusive £1bn profit club
- Insurers accused of charging people of colour higher premiums
B&Q owner joins exclusive £1bn profit club
What’s going on?
B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher recorded a £1bn profit in the 12 months to January - the best year in its 40-year history. The group has become only the third British retailer to reach the milestone.
Why is this important?
The past two years of the pandemic has meant more time spent at home either for work or leisure. To adapt to this new way of living, Brits have transformed spare rooms into offices and refurbished gardens for outdoor entertaining to reduce their Covid risk.
This enthusiasm for home improvements helped Kingfisher report a 33% jump in profit and a 7% increase in revenue to £13.2bn.
The DIY chain joins Tesco and M&S as the only businesses in the UK retail sector to make at least £1bn in profits.
The company, which also owns DIY stores in France, Poland, Spain, Portugal and Romania, said that it has removed Russian and Belarusian products from its shelves following the invasion of Ukraine.
Like many businesses Kingfisher has flagged that rising inflation will be a major challenge this year with the low availability of shipping containers and building material shortages, pushing up costs. But the company has pledged to keep prices competitive to help consumers manage the ongoing cost of living squeeze.
It also announced that, amid stiff competition for labour, wages would rise with B&Q workers getting a 6.5% increase to £9.80 an hour and 5.4% at Screwfix to £9.70 an hour. Both ahead of the new minimum wage of £9.50 which starts in April.
Kingfisher shares have jumped 135% since the start of the pandemic but fell by 6% yesterday as the company warned that the home improvement boom may have peaked. Sales in the past two months are down 8% on the same period in 2021 and investors are concerned that as household bills rise customers may tighten their budgets and cut back on DIY spend.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Freer trade: US rolls back Trump-era tariffs on UK steel
- Spring finances: What to expect from Rishi Sunak's Spring Statement
- Lonely London: London shunned for IPOs as firms head abroad
- Credit extended: NatWest to launch ‘buy now, pay later’ credit scheme this summer
- Damage control: THG hires ex-ITV boss as chair in push to repair relations with the City
- Back to the skies: Airline Flybe set to relaunch flights in April after collapse
- Payback: P&O to pay £37m in compensation to 800 sacked workers
- Restitutions: Victims of Post Office scandal to benefit from new compensation scheme
- Red anger: Manchester United fans hand Glazers ultimatum over delayed share scheme
- Breaking news: BuzzFeed investors have pushed to shut down entire newsroom
Insurers accused of charging people of colour higher premiums
Stat of the day
Global music revenues grew by 19% in 2021 to $26bn, the highest level on record, driven by a 18% jump in paid streaming subscribers to 523m users
Interesting links from around the web