Kingfisher says to create 1,200 jobs after profits rise

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Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home-improvements retailer, said on Thursday that it plans to create more than 1,200 jobs across Britain after net profits rose nearly a third in the group's first half.

"Kingfisher ... announces that it is to create over 1,200 new jobs across the UK this year as it expands its B&Q and Screwfix operations," the company that also owns the Castorama chain in France said in a statement.

The group separately announced that overall net profits jumped 29 percent to £320 million ($504 million, 368 million euros) in the six months to July 30 compared with £248 million a year earlier.

Retail sales grew 3.8 percent to £5.66 billion.

"We have delivered very strong profit growth in what are difficult times for all retailers," chief executive Ian Cheshire said in Kingfisher's results statement.

"Looking ahead, economic uncertainty throughout Europe is likely to impact consumer confidence, meaning conditions will remain challenging for retailers," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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