B&Q delivered a 79% increase in retail profits to £195m in 2009, parent company Kingfisher plc announced.

The performance was achieved through lower mark down activity, better sales of higher margin products, shrinkage reduction and supply chain cost efficiencies.

Sales grew 2.6% to £4bn with sales of DIY and decorative products down by around 2%, which Kingfisher described as “relatively resilient” as people looked to complete room makeovers and DIY projects rather than move.

B&Q now has 119 large stores and 211 medium-sized stores in the UK and Ireland.

In the trade market, sister company Screwfix recorded retail profits of £22m, down £8m on a year ago, due to annual sales declining to £471m.

During 2009/10 B&Q successfully trialled TradePoint, a new trade market offer exclusive to tradesmen which offers features of B&Q, such as extended opening hours, combined with the best of Screwfix’s ranges and logistics expertise. It is designed as a 4,000ft² dedicated area within a B&Q store and is being rolled out on a national basis.

Kingfisher expects the concept to boost its low share of the professional trade market.

The group’s total retail profits in the UK and Ireland were £217m.

Group chief executive Ian Cheshire said the group had achieved a robust performance in weak consumer markets. “Self-help” initiatives helped by driving a higher gross margin, more cost efficiency and lower working capital.

“Looking ahead, we remain cautious on the outlook for consumer demand across Europe,” he said.