Kingfisher’s UK DB surplus grows to £413m

The Kingfisher Group’s UK defined benefit scheme's net surplus increased by £93m in six months to £413m, according to the company’s half-year report for 2019.

The home improvement firm has said that the UK scheme’s healthy position is down to it generating good returns from its assets, which have more than offset the actuarial losses on its liabilities that have come about due to a lower discount rate assumption.

However, Kingfisher’s overseas DB arrangements have registered a deficit of £126m, meaning that is overall DB arrangement net surplus sits at £287m. The group had a £205m net surplus on 31 January 2019.

The report states that the present value of the retailer’s DB obligations is £3.25bn, while the value of its scheme assets comes to £3.54bn.

Kingfisher has paid in £19m of contributions into its DB arrangements so far this year.

Pressure on the company’s overall finances have grown, however, with the company recording a 12.5 per cent decline in statutory pre-tax profit to £245m.

It said that a fall in its half-year profits was down to a “disappointing” sales performance in the UK thanks to weak consumer confidence.

Kingfisher has over 1,300 stores in 10 countries across Europe, Russia and Turkey and operates under four retail brands — B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.

In the report, Kingfisher chief executive officer, Véronique Laury, said: "Our transformation activity continued in the first half of this year, including new range launches across the group and the rollout of further capabilities within our unified IT platform.

"These activities resulted in some ongoing disruption that impacted sales at B&Q and Castorama France. This was partly offset by positive sales performances in Screwfix, which continues to grow its market share, and Poland.

"It has been a great privilege to lead Kingfisher during a period of significant change, both in retail and within our business, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues for their tireless commitment."

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