Homebase parent firm stays positive despite drop in sales

Homebase has suffered a significant fall in sales in the 18 weeks to 5 January, with like-for-like results down 6.3 per cent and total sales down 4.1 per cent to £498m.

Despite the results, which reflect a continuing decline in the DIY sector, parent company Home Retail Group retains a positive outlook because strong results from sister company Argos during that period helped lift profit expectations for the year.

Homebase opened nine new stores and closed two, and also launched two of the 27 stores acquired from Focus. The company operates 320 stores with the remainder of the Focus acquisitions due to be opened under Homebase fascia in the first part of the year.

Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said: "The overall results for this important period are in line with our expectations and we are on target for full-year profit to be towards the upper end of market forecasts."

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