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Kingfisher counts cost as Britons fall out of love with DIY.

DIY chain B&Q owner Kingfisher publishes its latest trading update tomorrow.

B&Q owner Kingfisher is expected to report a drop in like-for-like sales for the chain when it posts a first quarter update tomorrow though analysts expect the performance of stablemate Screwfix should mean a solid performance for the overall group.

Brokers at Jefferies think B&Q will post a decline of 2% compared to a year ago, reflecting later Easter trading and waning popularity for DIY. But Kingfisher's popular building supplies chain Screwfix, aimed at the trade, is expected to register same store sales up 10% as the housing market remained buoyant.

In March Kingfisher said it would close as many as 60 B&Q stores over the next two years in a shake-up set to impact on up to 3,000 jobs in the UK and Ireland.

Kingfisher wants to cut about 15% of surplus space through the review of the 360-strong B&Q estate as Britons become less keen on DIY.

Staff at Southampton, Dundee, Baums Lane in Mansfield, Stetchford Road in Birmingham, Hyde in Greater Manchester and Barnsley have been told their stores are closing, but the locations of the other shops have not been disclosed.

Last year, rival DIY chain Homebase said it would close a quarter of its stores - about 80 outlets - in the period up to early 2018.

The changes at Kingfisher were announced as the company posted a 7.5% drop in annual profits to PS675m after sales fell by 1.4% to PS11bn in the year to January 31.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 27, 2015
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