BUSINESS LIVE: Kingfisher profits jump; Oxford Nanopore boosts forecasts as losses grow; Borrowing falls ahead of Spring Statement
British home improvement retailer Kingfisher has reported a 20.9 per cent rise in annual profit, and told investors on Tuesday it had made an encouraging start to its new year despite heightened macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty.
The group, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, made an adjusted profit before tax of £949million in the year to 31 January, in line with analysts’ forecasts and up from £786million in the previous year.
British biotech business Oxford Nanopore saw 2021 losses widen to £167.7million from £61.2million in the previous year, which it attributed to the costs of its October IPO as well as share-based incentive payments.
However, the Oxford University spinout DNA sequencing firm boosted revenue expectations for 2022 from a previous top-end of £145million to £160million, and from £190million to £220million for 2023.
The cost of servicing Britain’s ballooning national debt will hit more than £1,200 per person over the next year, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warning that debt interest payments could surpass £84billion in 2022-23.
However, Office for National Statistics data published on Tuesday shows Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have more room for maneuver that initially expected in tomorrow’s Spring Statement, with public borrowing running nearly £26billion lower than forecast.
Kingfigher has been boosted by more home improvement activity since the start of the pandemic