Good weather and seasonal products drive sales increase at Homebase

Homebase sales grew by 5.5 per cent to £445 million in the second quarter of this year, driven by strong seasonal buying and better weather.

In its interim management statement covering the 13 weeks from 2 March to 31 May released today, the retailer announced that like-for-like sales increased by 7.9 per cent in the quarter driven by strong sales of seasonal products, which represented around 40 per cent of total sales.

There was also growth in sales of big ticket products but sales for the remaining categories were slightly lower overall.

Homebase also said that net closed space reduced sales by 2.4 per cent over the quarter. The group closed one store, leaving 322 stores.

Sales grew more than at sister company Argos, which achieved a 4.8 per cent sales rise.

"Chief executive of Home Retail Group, which owns both companies, John Walden said: "We have had a good start to the year, with both Argos and Homebase delivering positive like-for-like sales growth.

"This growth was aided by a strong performance in seasonal products in both businesses, due to better weather overall versus the comparable period last year. In addition to this strong performance in seasonal products, Homebase achieved growth in sales of big ticket products.

"We are pleased with this encouraging start to the year, but remain mindful that we will annualise more challenging comparators in both businesses through the remainder of the year, including Homebase’s very strong seasonal performance in the second quarter of last year.

"At this early stage of the financial year, we expect to deliver full year group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations."

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