Homebase/Bunnings sees transactions rise 2.2%

Bunnings UK and Ireland has reported third quarter sales of £245m, with £851m in sales for the year to date.

Owners Wesfarmers did not provide a like-for-like sales update as it did not complete the £340m purchase of the Homebase chain from Home Retail Group until February 2016.

Total sales for the quarter (12 week period 2 January 2017 to 26 March 2017) were £245 million ($400 million). On a like-for-like trading basis across the third quarter, customer participation, as measured by transactions, increased by 2.2%. For the financial year to date, total sales were £851 million ($1,429 million). Customer participation for the financial year to date increased by 6.9%.

UK and Ireland managing director PJ Davis said trading during the quarter was negatively affected by the continued repositioning of the kitchen and bathroom offer, while the performance across other core home improvement and garden products was pleasing.

"Our first Bunnings Warehouse pilot stores have been well received by customers, team members, and the community. The team continues to progress the strategic plan and is focused on building strong foundations."

During the quarter, the first Bunnings Warehouse pilot store was opened. A second pilot site was opened on 12 April 2017 at Hatfield Road, St Albans. There were 254 Homebase stores as at the end of March 2017, with one opening and six closing.

Total sales in the 52 weeks to 27 February 2016 for Homebase were £1,433m.

Next are Homebase conversions in Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes and a B&Q conversion in Folkestone.

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