Argos set to drag down Homebase owner returns

Home Retail Group, the company behind Argos and Homebase, has warned on annual profits.

In its first-half results covering the six months to 30 August, Home Retail Group said that while its Homebase DIY and homewares chain grew sales, profits and sales at Argos were hit by declines in electrical and seasonal product categories.

John Walden, the Home Retail chief executive, said: "We look forward to an improved sales performance for both Argos and the Group in the second half.

"However, as I have previously stated, trading at Argos during this year’s important Christmas season seems less predictable than usual, as both retailers and customers determine whether to repeat last year’s unusual Black Friday patterns.

"The combination of this trading uncertainty, an increased level of investment in the launch of Fast Track and the underlying profit reduction from Argos’ challenging first half, mean that at this stage of the financial year we expect the group’s full-year benchmark profit before tax to be slightly below the bottom end of the current range of market expectations of £115m to £140m."


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