Homebase sales for the eight weeks were £183m and were £617m for the previous six months and £1,433m for the last year to 27 February. Like-for-like sales change 3.3 per cent for the eight weeks, 4.5 per cent for the half year and 5.2 per cent for the year but net space sales change was eight per cent down.
Home Retail Group chief executive John Walden said: "This has been another rather eventful period for the Group, during which we completed the sale of the Homebase business and both J Sainsbury plc and Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. announced possible offers for the acquisition of the remaining Group.
"I am pleased with the continued improvement in Argos’ sales performance in the period, together with the continued progress in the Argos Transformation Plan to become a digital retail leader. In October we introduced FastTrack - market-leading propositions for sameday home delivery and store collection. Since its introduction, customer awareness of FastTrack has continued to grow and its operations are improving, with both on-time delivery rates and customer satisfaction now at leading levels. Along with FastTrack, the combination of our now proven digital concession model, together with improvements in digital experiences have driven increases in both digital sales and digital participation.
"We expect that Group benchmark profit before tax for the financial year ended 27 February will be in line with the current consensus of market expectations of £93m. We also expect that the Group’s year-end cash balance will be significantly stronger than previously anticipated at c.£625m."