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Kingfisher plc
Type Public (LSE: KGF)
Founded 1982
Headquarters London, England, United Kingdom
Key people Ian Cheshire, CEO & Chairman
Industry Retail (Home Improvement)
Products Home improvement products such as home appliances, tools, hardware, and garden supplies & plants.
Revenue £9,364 million (2008)
Operating income £453 million (2008)
Net income £272 million (2008)
Employees 80,000 (2010)[1]

Kingfisher plc (LSE: KGF) is a UK-based international retailer, which has owned a wide variety of retail chains in its history but is now focused on the DIY business. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



Kingfisher was founded in 1982 by the buyout of the British Woolworths chain by Paternoster Stores Ltd. which later changed its name to Woolworth Holdings plc.[2] The Company expanded through subsequent acquisitions of companies such as B&Q, Superdrug and Comet.[2] It was led from 1984 (until his retirement in 2002) by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, who became renowned for his taciturn public persona, lengthy decision-making and love of sailing. Largely through his influence, Kingfisher became the major sponsor of British sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur.[3] It was renamed Kingfisher plc in 1989.[2]

Further acquisitions of European companies such as Castorama,[4] BUT S.A.[5] and Wegert[6] enabled the Company to grow to become the largest general retail business in the UK. In 1999, Kingfisher attempted a takeover of Asda, one of the UK's largest supermarket chains, only to be beaten by Wal-Mart.[7] Coupled with an acrimonious battle for control of Castorama,[8] the resultant share price pressure forced the sale and demerger of several parts of the Company by 2001, including Woolworths (forming the Woolworths Group),[9] and the demerger of the electricals business to form Kesa Electricals in 2003 - causing the Company to refocus entirely around DIY.[10]

The Company was led by Gerry Murphy from 2002 until 2008.[11]

In January 2008 Kingfisher appointed Ian Cheshire as Group Chief Executive.[11] Ian was formerly B&Q's Chief Executive; this role was taken over in April 2009 by Euan Sutherland, who also has the role of Chief Executive of the UK Division of Kingfisher.[12]


Kingfisher currently operates around 830 stores in eight countries in Europe and Asia. Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, and Screwfix[13].

The companies now part of the Kingfisher group are:

  • B&Q; operations in the UK, Ireland and China,
  • Brico Dépôt; in France, Spain and Poland.
  • Castorama; in France, Poland and Russia.
  • Hornbach DIY; with over 120 stores across Europe; Kingfisher holds a 21% stake.
  • Koçtaş; in Turkey.
  • Screwfix; 150 branches in the UK, plus mail and internet ordering[14].
  • Mally Market; supermarket in the UK


See also

External links



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