September 19, 2018 / 6:22 AM / 8 months ago

Kingfisher half-year profit down 15 pct as French business drags

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Kingfisher, one of Europe’s biggest home improvement retailers, reported a 15 percent fall in half-year profits after a poor performance in France, but said it was on track to grow its gross margin in the full year.

The company, which owns the B&Q and Screwfix brands in Britain and Castorama in France, posted underlying pretax profit of 375 million pounds ($493.5 million) in the six months ended July 31, down from the 440 million pounds it made in the period last year.

Kingfisher said it had taken steps to help its French business improve in the second half of the year.

“Looking to the full year we remain on track to deliver our strategic milestones for the third year in a row and have put actions in place to support our performance,” CEO Veronique Laury said in a statement on Wednesday. ($1 = 0.7598 pounds) (Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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