Summer sun boosts sales at Home Retail

City A.M. Reporter
HOME Retail Group said yesterday that summer sunshine had delivered a big boost to sales at its DIY chain Homebase in the second quarter, and helped shift seasonal products at its biggest business, Argos.

The company said like-for-like sales at Homebase rose by 11 per cent in the 13 weeks to 31 August, comfortably beating analyst expectations of 3.3 per cent growth, while sales at Argos on the same measure were up 2.7 per cent, also beating market forecasts of a two per cent rise.

Chief executive Terry Duddy, who recently said he would quit by next July, said he expected to deliver full-year profit in line with current market expectations, although the outcome would, as always, depend upon Christmas trading at Argos.

“Whilst we continue to expect consumer spending to remain subdued, we approach the important Christmas trading period in good operational shape,” he said.

The group also said the UK’s summer heatwave had driven huge sales of desk fans, with Argos selling more in one fortnight than in the whole of 2012.