Kingfisher ploughs on with IT and digital upgrades

Kingfisher – the parent company of B&Q and Screwfix – reported an 8.3% jump in adjusted pre-tax profits for the financial year ending 31 January 2017.

The retailer also reported a 2.3% increase in like-for-like adjusted sales for the period, driven by growth in the UK and Poland.

Kingfisher is now one year into its five-year transformation plan to unify the company and put processes in place to ensure "customer needs always come first".

Announced last year, the retail group will spend around £800 million on upgrades to its supply chain, operational efficiency and digital platforms, which it estimates will deliver a £500 million sustainable annual profit uplift by the end of year five.

One of the three pillars of Kingfisher's transformation project is improving digital capabilities. As set out last year, Kingfisher completed the roll out of its unified IT platform in B&Q stores in Q1, while six Castorama pilot stores were launched in the second half of the year, with a wider roll out underway.

Over the last year, the company also improved site search and checkout functionalities for the Screwfix online platform, while these improvements will be also made to and Kingfisher also plans to develop a new company-wide mobile platform later this year.

Over the last year, Screwfix reported a 60% increase in click & collect orders, while mobile increased 124%. B&Q now offers click & collect on over 31,500 products (up from 16,700 last year), and its total number of digital sales increased 45% over the year.