Homebase latest to reveal damage done by adverse weather to seasonal sales

Like-for-like sales at 340-store Homebase fell 3.7 per cent in the second quarter, with total sales down 3.9 percent to £366 million.

The group said seasonal sales had been impacted by poor weather and that market conditions continued to be challenging. Sales in other categories were "broadly flat". Results were helped by increased seasonal stock clearance.

Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said: "At Homebase seasonal product sales continued to be adversely impacted by the poor weather conditions. While we continue to plan cautiously we approach our peak trading period in good operational shape."

This week, B&Q parent company Kingfisher blamed a wet summer for a six per cent fall in like-for-like sales to £2 billion in the 26 weeks to 28 July at B&Q, as it posted a 15.5 per cent, or £30 million, fall in first-half group profit.

Record rainfall in the UK and northern Europe helped prompt a seven per cent drop in seasonal product sales as average footfall plunged 20 per cent in the severely weather-affected weeks.
The wider group reported a 17 per cent slide in bottom line pre-tax profits to £364 million in the period as sales dipped three per cent to £5.5 billion.

Chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "This has been a tough first half with unprecedented wet weather throughout the key spring and summer seasons in northern Europe. This affected footfall and demand for outdoor maintenance, gardening and leisure products, which normally account for a significant proportion of our first half sales."

B&Q has also undergone a restructuring of its category managers after a review, though the company confirm details.

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