The major company news for the UK consumer sector this week was as follows:

B&Q owner Kingfisher (LON:KGF) reported total sales were flat at £2.64bn in the quarter to 1st May, down 1.8% on a like-for-like basis. Retail profit was up 14.5%. Net cash was £86m reflecting continued focus on cash generation and a seasonally driven reduction in working capital. Ian Cheshire, Group CEO, said: "We have continued to deliver solid profit growth in a tough first quarter during which our customers were impacted by adverse weather conditions across Europe and ongoing economic uncertainty... However, our self-help initiatives helped us deliver flat sales whilst improving gross margin and cost productivity with the result that profit grew 12%".

Ashley (Laura) Hldgs (LON:ALY) said in the first 17 weeks of the financial year, total UK retail sales increased by 6.2% year-on-year (like-for-like sales increased by 5.3%).  There are now 233 franchise stores globally in 26 countries, an increase of three stores since the year end. Laura Ashley said despite the current economic uncertainties, it remain confidents of continued growth in 2010 built on the platform of a strong balance sheet with no bank borrowing, a strong brand and a distinctive product offering.  Although at an early stage in the year, the group said it expects full year trading to be in line with expectations.

Hobby products group, Hornby Plc (LON:HRN) reported turnover for the year to end-March up 5% to £64.7m (2009: £61.6m) and profit before tax of £5.2m (2009: £6.1m). Hornby owns a number of model railway and slot car brands, Airfix models, Humbrol paints and Corgi die cast models. The group said cash generation was strong, and net debt reduced to £3.2m (2009: £11.8m). Underlying profit before tax was £5.7m (2009: £6.3m). Frank Martin, CEO, said:

Looking forward, Hornby is in excellent shape. We have agreed a number of new exciting licenses including collaboration with Disney/Pixar to produce products associated with the new Toy Story 3 Movie. Importantly, we continue to introduce more merchandise associated with the London 2012 Olympic Games. We expect these product lines to perform well as we get closer to the games."

Commercial horticulture and branded garden products producer Sinclair(william)hldgs (LON:SNCL) reported a 132% rise in first-half operating profit to £0.44m from £0.19m. Revenue for the six months to March 31 fell…

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