Shares in Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, saw its shares rise on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after performing "as well as could be expected" in the half year ended 28 July 2012.
In its interim results the group reported a fall in adjusted pre-tax profit of 15.5 per cent to £371 million, while reported sales dropped 3.3 per cent to nearly £5.5 billion.
Kingfisher claimed that record wet weather in the UK and Northern Europe had cost it £30 million in lost profits, thanks to lower footfall and a drop in seasonal product sales. The group also said that "adverse foreign exchange movements" had cost it £25 million.
Despite the drop in sales and profits Kingfisher announced an increase in the interim dividend of 25.1 per cent to 3.09 pence per share.
Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher, said, "Whilst an uncertain economic backdrop has been a feature of our markets for some time, we recognise that this is unlikely to improve for a while. In the short term we will continue to focus on trading effectively, whatever the market conditions, whilst accelerating our self-help initiatives where practical and remaining agile in order to capitalise on opportunities as they arise.
Richard Hunter, Head of Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, commented, "Set against a backdrop of record wet weather and European austerity, Kingfisher has fared as well as could have been expected.
"In particular, the difficulties arising from these factors seems to have been managed deftly, as action was taken to clear excess stocks whilst highlighting indoor product sales. In addition, the company's increasing reputation as being on top of its costs was also evidenced during the period by prudent cash management and an acceleration of the self-help programme. Kingfisher's international presence has, in part, mitigated what could otherwise have been damaging effects from other parts of its portfolio, whilst the outlook comments were both realistic and confident. Less positively, the numbers were light of market expectations whilst the environment is unlikely to improve in the short to medium term either in terms of fierce competition or indeed the strained economic situation.
"Amidst the turmoil, the shares have held up strongly. Over the last year Kingfisher has added 17%, as compared to an 11% rise in the wider FTSE100. The challenges have been identified and accepted, and the general market view of the shares as a buy is more than likely to remain intact."
By 11:40 shares in Kingfisher were up 1.91 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 277.50 pence per share.
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