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Struggling Kingfisher hoping for boost in sales

B&Q owner Kingfisher is expected to reveal improved sales at the DIY chain on Thursday, but the Olympics will have kept up pressure on its overall performance as the event saw shoppers stay away from stores.

B&Q in the UK and Ireland is set to reveal a 1% slide in third-quarter like-for-like sales, a marked improvement on the 6% decline in the weather-hit first half of the year.

The chain continued to struggle as the Olympics hit shopper footfall and October failed to repeat the good weather from last year.

The owner of PC World and Currys reveals half-year results on Thursday amid mounting optimism over its prospects after the failure of rival Comet. Dixons Retail saw like-for-like sales surge 7% in its first quarter as stricken Comet, which called in administrators this month, struggled.

Dixons is expected to reveal softer sales in current trading as Comet's mass clearance sale has poached customers, but experts believe it will benefit in the long-term – sending shares soaring in recent weeks.

Travel giant Thomas Cook reports annual results on Wednesday after seeing a last-minute surge by sun-seekers over the summer.

The group said in September that holidaymakers were snapping up deals to Turkey, Spain and Greece.

The Olympics also gave a lift to profit margins, but was not as successful as initially hoped due to challenging sales of its Olympic and Paralympic packages to corporate customers.

City experts predict while there will be a headline loss as it bears the costs of restructuring, the group will make an underlying profit of £150 million, down on the £175m a year earlier.

In chief executive Harriet Green's first big announcement to the City since taking on the role in July, she is set to say targets and technology will be part of her plan to transform the debt-laden business.

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