Argos drags sales down at Home Retail Group

Home Retail Group suffered a drop in sales in the year to February 26 2011, though its Homebase stores held up better than sister chain Argos.

Argos drags sales down at Home Retail Group

The results, revealed today, show that total sales for the group were down 2.8%, with Argos seeing a drop of 3.5% and a like-for-like drop of 5.6%.

Homebase, on the other hand, saw total sales fall 1.4%. However, the chain closed eight stores in the period. If the sales from this closed space is taken into account Homebase sales declined just 0.3% in like-for-like terms.

Benchmark operating profits were down 13.4% for the group, with Argos posting a 17.7% decline. This is in stark contrast to Homebase’s benchmark operating profits, which rose 15.5%.

Gross margin, however, remained flat, as stock management and “a reduced level of promotional activity” mitigated any declines.

Commenting on the results, HRG chairman Oliver Stocken said: “Economic uncertainty and a low level of consumer confidence continue to adversely impact customer spending patterns.”

However, he added that the group was “well positioned for the economic recovery over the longer term”.

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