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Home Retail Group expects profits ahead of forecasts

Home Retail Group expects profit to beat forecast estimates by £20m after a better than expected performance during the 18 weeks to 2 January.

CITY & CORPORATE

Home Retail Group expects profits ahead of forecasts

Total sales at Argos grew by 3.9 per cent to £1,922m. Net new space contributed 3.8 per cent; a net five new stores opened in the quarter, taking the portfolio to 744. Like-for-like sales increased by 0.1 per cent in the period. The internet represented 35% of Argos sales, up from 30 per cent a year earlier. Three-quarters of these sales were online Check & Reserve orders, which grew by 34 per cent.

At Homebase total sales grew by 4.6 per cent to £501m. Net new space contributed 0.6 per cent; there was one opening and two closures in the period, reducing the portfolio to 349. Like-for-like sales increased by 4.0 per cent.

‘Argos has performed ahead of our plans in its most important trading period, and Homebase trading has continued to be strong,’ said chief executive Terry Duddy. ‘We now expect group benchmark profit before tax for this financial year to be about £20m ahead of the current market consensus of £265m.’

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