Laury gets top Kingfisher job as B&Q boosts profits
Veronique Laury, ceo of French DIY chain Castorama is to succeed Sir Ian Cheshire as Kingfisher group chief executive.
Sir Ian is stepping down at the B&Q owner after seven years in charge and 16 years in total, including 14 on the board.
Sir Ian has spent 16 years at Kingfisher, including 14 years as a board member and seven as chief executive.
'Now is the right time to hand over to a new leader and I am delighted that Veronique, who I have worked closely with for over 11 years and know is superbly qualified for the job, has agreed to take over from me. Having taken over the leadership role in the depths of the financial crisis I am proud that the Kingfisher of today is a much stronger business, with a more profitable and sustainable model,' said Sir Ian.
'Building on Sir Ian's legacy we will reinforce our purpose to support those who want to improve their homes. In addition we will continue to create value for our shareholders,' said Laury.
The group said the next phase of its evolution needed 'significant leadership commitment and continuity'. In the next five years in plans to expand Kingfisher's online offering, expanding its Screwfix and Brico Dépôt businesses and integrating the recently acquired Mr Bricolage with the French business.
The announcement of Sir Ian's departure came as B&Q and Screwfix lifted UK and Republic of Ireland sales by 6.5%, including a 4.4% like for like rise, to £2.419bn in the six months to 2 August. Retail profits grew 17.7% to £166m.