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Argos like-for-likes up 0.1% in first quarter

Home Retail Group has reported that first quarter like-for-like sales edged up 0.1% at Argos.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Argos like-for-likes up 0.1% in first quarter

In the 13 weeks to 28 May total sales rose by 2.6% to £868 million. Net new space contributed 2.5%, mainly as a result of store openings in the previous financial year.

Sales grew in both electrical and non-electrical product categories. The growth in electricals was mainly due to the performance of TVs, mobiles, computers and tablets which was partially offset by a sales decline in white goods.

John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said: "I am pleased with our performance in the first quarter. Argos delivered good total sales growth together with positive like-for-like growth, representing its strongest sales growth performance in eight quarters. This was achieved against the challenging backdrop of constrained seasonal product sales due to poor weather, on top of a deflationary pricing environment.”

Online sales increased by 16% in the quarter and represented 49% of total Argos sales, up from 44% in the same period last year. Within this, mobile commerce sales grew by 17% to represent 29% of total Argos sales, up from 25% previously.

Walden said Sainsbury’s acquisition of Home Retail Group was on track to complete in the third quarter of this calendar year.

He added: “Given the natural distraction that a transaction such as this can be for our colleagues, on top of the recent sale of Homebase, I am particularly pleased with our performance in the quarter."

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