Home Retail Group sales fall
Underlying profits in the half year to August fell by 23% to £95m with pre-tax profits down from £117m to £103m. Sales fell by 3% to £2.72bn with like-for-like sales down 6.5% at Argos and 0.8% at Homebase.
Profits at Argos fell from £79.7m to £54.4m and Homebase fell from £48.9m to £46.2m.
Terry Duddy, CEO, commented: "Homebase has completed another good performance in its peak trading period. At Argos, its core customers have been under greater pressure and there were some particularly challenging conditions in certain product categories. The Group's profit result was however supported by further excellent cost management, earnings per share were enhanced by the share buy-back programme and the interim dividend has been maintained.
"We are about to enter our busiest trading period, and whilst we are planning cautiously, we do so from a position of operational and financial strength. This position also allows us to continue to invest in both Argos and Homebase, further extending our multi-channel leadership and differentiated formats. This will maintain our competitive advantage and ensure the Group remains well-placed for the future."
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