Kingfisher plc announces agreement to sell Castorama Italy

Castorama opened its first store in Italy in 1988 and now has 31 stores and employs over 2,200 people. In the year to 2 February 2008, the business recorded a retail profit of £29 million (2006/07: £31 million) and sales of £314 million (2006/07: £312 million). It had gross assets of £471 million and net assets of £341 million.

Commenting on the sale, Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher’s Group Chief Executive, said: "This sale is consistent with our aim of delivering a step-change in shareholder value and is a good deal at this point in the economic cycle. We have built a successful and profitable business in Italy which now needs more capital to continue its development. We believe we can achieve higher incremental returns on capital elsewhere in Europe and strengthen our balance sheet by reducing our net debt.”