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Kingfisher forced to issue indicative trading report

The UK retail giant Kingfisher, which owns DIY chain B&Q, was today forced to release a highly unusual indicative trading update to the city. This came about after the head of the company's investor relations division accidentally e-mailed a spreadsheet to a number of city analysts which detailed the forthcoming figures. So what exactly happened?

In a fairly run-of-the-mill investor relations exercise just prior to the results, which will still be announced on 17 September, it was revealed that the company accidentally attached a highly price sensitive spreadsheet to the e-mail. As a consequence, after being alerted to the error the company was forced to issue an announcement that adjusted pre-tax profits for the six months to 1 August 2009 will be in the region of £285 million to £290 million.

While there is no doubt that the better-than-expected figures have been overshadowed by the embarrassing leak prior to the official release date the company appears to be faring better than many had expected. As a consequence analysts have reviewed their forecasts for the full year and the shares themselves increased by 1p to 218p as investors started to digests the information.

Slowly but surely we are seeing more and more positive signs from the UK retail sector which suffered a dramatic fall in business during the recession.

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