At least that’s what Bloomberg analyst Andrea Felsted feels. According to her report, CEO Veronique Laury’s strategies isn’t working, and it’s time for the Home Improvement company to move on. Breaking it up would be a good start.
Felsted mentions how parting ways with Laury looks inevitable. She is three years into a five year plan to increase annual profit by 500 million pounds ($658.9 million) beyond what it would have been by the end of fiscal 2021.
But so far, this is bearing little fruit. Underlying pre-tax profit fell 8 percent in fiscal 2018 and it is expected to decline again this year, according to the consensus of Bloomberg estimates.
Investors aren’t thrilled – the shares are down by almost a third since she unveiled her strategic blueprint in January 2016. The plan, dubbed “One Kingfisher,” was an effort to get the group’s disparate divisions working more closely together, for example with more joint purchases of goods such as bulbs or bathroom fittings for operations in the U.K. and France. Some progress has been made: 42 percent of products are now common stock. But the benefits are yet to come through to the bottom line.
According to her, a new approach is needed, and a break-up is the obvious alternative, as Kingfisher’s break-up could deliver twice its current enterprise value
Kingfisher could have an breakup value of about 9.5 billion pounds, according to estimates of the worth of its individual assets by analysts at Morgan Stanley. That’s roughly twice the current enterprise value.
Within this, the obvious candidate for a sale or demerger is Screwfix, which serves the building trade, and which Morgan Stanley estimates could be worth 2.25 billion pounds.
Meaning that if the board of Kingfisher does remove Laury it has the perfect opportunity to explore a separation.