Home Retail profits fall but Homebase holds up better

Home Retail Group (HRG), which owns Argos and Homebase has reported a 71 per cent fall in half-year profits to £29.4m in the six months to August 27.

Homebase saw a 35 per cent fall in operating profits and a 0.6 per cent drop in like-for-like sales.

Operating margins fell from 5.4 per cent to 3.6 per cent.

Homebase's performance had been "robust", said HRG, but like-for-like sales at Argos, which strip out the impact of new stores, fell 9.1 per cent in the 26 weeks to 27 August.

Catalogue chain Argos had a half-year profit of £3.4 million, after consumers put off buying "big ticket" electronics items.

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