Home Retail Group profits rise by 14%
Home Retail Group has increased its benchmark pre-tax profit by 14% to Â£132.1 million in the year to end February as it continued to work towards transforming its Argos chain into a digitally led business.
Total sales edged up 1% £5.7 billion as like-for-like sales rose by 0.6% at Argos and by 2.3% at the group’s Homebase DIY chain.
Home Retail Group said it completed the national roll-out of its 'hub & spoke' distribution network at Argos in the year to enable same-day collection of around 20,000 products. In addition, 60 digital stores are now trading across three different store formats.
Online sales accounted for 46% of total sales at Argos boosted by 38% growth in sales via smartphones and tablets.
The group said it made good progress with reducing the size of the Homebase store estate to take the total to 296 stores in the period. It also improved the Homebase proposition by adding more Argos and Habitat concessions in Homebase stores.
John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said: "The group performed well in FY15 and ahead of consensus profit expectations, achieving 14% growth in benchmark profit before tax and 25% growth in benchmark EPS. Both Argos and Homebase contributed positive like-for-like sales and profit growth for the second successive year. I believe the strategic plans we are pursuing across the group will enable us to innovate and lead in a rapidly changing retail market."
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