Argos grows sales but Homebase falters

Despite growing sales Argos has warned of tougher times ahead in its new financial year.
The company pushed sales up 5.4% to £566m in the eight weeks to March 1, with new space contributing 3.5%. Like-for-like growth was 1.9%. The retailer opened seven new outlets during the period, and has seen its total number of stores grow by 27 during the full year, reaching 707.

Meanwhile, at sister company Homebase sales dipped 0.7% to £217m in the eight weeks to March 1. New space delivered 4.6% of that but like-for-likes dropped 5.3%.

Chief executive of parent Home Retail Group, Terry Duddy, said that Argos’ sales performance had “rounded off a successful year in which we expect the group to deliver another year of double-digit earnings growth in line with market forecasts.

“Looking ahead, we continue to believe that the weakening consumer outlook, as already evidenced at Homebase, is likely to restrict growth in like-for-like sales in both businesses. While the new financial year therefore looks challenging, we will continue building on our significant operational strengths across the group.”

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