Profit fall for Home Retail Group
Home Retail Group, owner of Argos and Homebase, announced a 9.5% fall in pre-tax profits today.
Profits fell to £265.2million for the year to February 26. This was down from £293million in previous year.
The Group said: “Prospects for the 2011/12 financial year are uncertain as consumers’ disposable income, and their willingness to spend, is impacted by an increased VAT rate, an increase in personal taxes and the rising cost of living plus the additional threat of public sector job losses and potential interest rate increases."
Although the Group remains cautious about the consumer outlook over the short term, it said it would continue to invest in readiness for the eventual upturn by opening new stores, developing its online offering and refurbishing existing Argos stores.
In a further announcement, the Group said that Sara Weller would be stepping down as Managing Director of Argos due to personal reasons. Home Retail Group CEO, Terry Duddy, will assume responsibility for the Argos business on an interim basis until a successor is found.
Weller said:”This has been an extremely difficult decision to make but it is absolutely in the best interests of my family and me. I have greatly enjoyed my time with Argos as we have successfully developed our multi-channel retailing offer. I will miss being part of the strong team that we have built within the business. I do not intend to take on another full-time executive role, but will be looking to expand my non-executive career for the future."
Oliver Stocken, Chairman of Home Retail Group, said: “ We are very grateful to Sara for her hard work and commitment over the last seven years. She has been a great leader for Argos and whilst we will miss her contribution, we fully understand and respect her reasons for stepping down and wish her all the best for the future."
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