The group, which owns B&Q in the UK and Castorama in France, said strong UK trading drove adjusted pre-tax profit of £384mln, although that was down 2.3% against a year ago.
It said it was on course to close about 15% of B&Q surplus space by the end of 2016/17 in areas with too many shops. It is also closing two stores in France and one in Russia.
This will give rise to a total exceptional charge of around £350mln mainly relating to onerous lease provisions over this year and next year, £151mln of which was booked in the first half.
But the group said there was potential for another 200 Screwfix UK outlets on top of 412 currently. A trial of Screwfix in Germany is on track.
Overall sales rose 3.5% to £5.4bn and retail profit was up 5%, in constant currencies.
The company increased the interim dividend by 1% to 3.18p.
Chief executive Véronique Laury said: "In the short term, whilst we remain encouraged by the macroeconomic backdrop in the UK, we remain cautious on the outlook for France."
She added that the group had made progress with its plan to streamline the various parts of the group into one company.
"There remains a lot to be done however," she said.
Source: CNS, Agencies,
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