Sales decrease across Homebase stores

Homebase has reported a 5.3 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to 1 March, with total sales down 0.7 per cent.

The retailer has warned that the weaker consumer outlook will mean like-for-like sales growth will be harder to come by this year.

Parent company Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said that while the new financial year looked challenging, the company would "continue building on our significant operational strengths across the group".

Most product categories continued to see a difficult trading environment although supply-chain progress and foreign-exchange benefits led to a gross margin increase.

Sales for the full year were down by 4.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis, with total sales down by 1.6 per cent, to £1.56bn.

Meanwhile, Guernsey-based mail-order company Flying Brands, which has a gardening division, reported a like-for-like sales fall of 13 per cent in the year to 28 December. Total sales rose by nine per cent to £46.3m.

Chairman Tim Trotter said last year had been difficult for the group, with deteriorating general retail market conditions, and this was reflected in the results.

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