B&Q owner Kingfisher plc says the DIY retailer’s 1.6% sales decline during the fourth quarter reflected exceptionally adverse weather during January.

In a trading update, Kingfisher said B&Q’s sales declined to £836m, with all product categories displaying a similar sales trend dip.

“Prior to the adverse weather, like-for-like sales were slightly up,” it said.

“Gross margins are expected to be strongly up, reflecting reduced promotional activity compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, better sales of higher margin products and continued shrinkage reduction and supply chain cost efficiencies.”

Sales at Kingfisher’s Screwfix business fell by 1.4% to £113m.