Kingfisher to return capital to shareholders

LONDON — Kingfisher plc, which owns B&Q and Castorama, will return some £200 million to its shareholders after a 4.1% hike in annual profits, Reuters reports. Pretax profits for the year amounted to £744 million, with overall sales up 3.5% and sales at stores open more than a year rising 0.7%. The results reflect a gain over the previous year’s profits of $715 million.

After a difficult first quarter, market conditions improved, with the notable exception of France, where the company nevertheless picked up market share. Planned expansions for the coming year include new country entries for Brico-Dépôt in Portugal and Screwfix in Germany.  This year’s capital return will be the first of a program staggered out over multiple years.