LONDON, Sept 20 Kingfisher, Europe's
largest home improvement retailer, beat forecasts with a 13.5
percent rise in first-half profit, driven by a strong
performance in Britain and Poland.
The firm, which runs the B&Q and Screwfix chains in Britain
and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other countries,
said it made underlying pretax profit of 436 million pounds
($568 million) in the six months to July 31.
That compared to analysts' average forecast of 430 million
pounds and 384 million pounds in the previous year.
Total sales rose 2.7 percent to 5.75 billion pounds on a
constant currency basis.
Kingfisher reiterated that in the UK, the EU referendum
result had created uncertainty for the economic outlook, even
though there has been no clear evidence of an impact on demand
so far on its businesses.
In France the firm remains cautious on the short term
($1 = 0.7675 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)