Argos succeeds post-Homebase

Home Retail Group, has published a trading statement covering the 13 weeks from 28 February to 28 May 2016, the first since selling Homebase to Wesfarmers.

John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said HRG had done well after the "distraction" of the £340m sale of 265-store DIY/garden centre chain Homebase to Australian group Wesfarmers, which is rebranding the centres as Bunnings.

Sales were £868m, up 0.1 per cent like-for-like.

Walden said: "I am pleased with our performance in the first quarter. Argos delivered good total sales growth together with positive like-for-like growth, representing its strongest sales growth performance in eight quarters. This was achieved against the challenging backdrop of constrained seasonal product sales due to poor weather, on top of a deflationary pricing environment.

"Finally, we remain on track to complete the proposed transaction with Sainsbury's in thep third quarter of this calendar year. Given the natural distraction that a transaction such as this can be for our colleagues, on top of the recent sale of Homebase, I am particularly pleased with our performance in the quarter."

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