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Warm weather boosts sales at Argos and Homebase

Home Retail Group has reported sales rises at both its Argos and Homebase chains in its second quarter as warm weather over the summer boosted sales of seasonal products.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Warm weather boosts sales at Argos and Homebase

In the 13 weeks to 31 August, total sales at Argos rose by 2.4% to £889 million while like-for-like sales increased by 2.7%. Online sales continued to grow with internet penetration now representing 44% of total sales, up from 42% for the same period last year.

Home Retail Group said the online growth was driven by a 133% increase in m-commerce sales, which now make up 17% of total Argos sales as the retailer continues to develop its mobile and tablet apps.

At the Homebase DIY chain, like-for-like sales climbed by 11% boosted by strong sales of seasonal products which represented around 40% of total sales in the quarter. Total sales grew by 9.3% to £400 million.

Terry Duddy, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said: "The group had a good first half driven by a positive sales performance in both businesses. Overall Homebase traded well through its peak period, while Argos continues to build on its digital leadership with mobile commerce now accounting for 17% of Argos’ total sales.

"At this stage of the financial year, we expect to deliver full year Group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations but, as always, the outcome will depend upon Argos’ peak trading period."

Looking ahead to the festive season, Duddy added: "Whilst we continue to expect consumer spending to remain subdued, we approach the important Christmas trading period in good operational shape. We are on track to deliver the investment plans which will drive the long term development of both businesses."

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