Home Retail Group boosted by sales growth at Argos

HOME Retail Group yesterday reported a return to quarterly growth at its flagship Argos chain, with sales up 1.4 per cent at £867m.

Online purchases paid a key role in this growth, as they rose by 16 per cent, representing 42 per cent of total Argos sales.

But the wet summer weather hit the group’s Homebase DIY stores, forcing revenues down 3.7 per cent to £366m on a like-for-like basis for the thirteen weeks to 1 September.

“We expect to deliver full year group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations but, as always, the outcome will depend upon trading at Argos in its peak Christmas period,” chief executive Terry Duddy said.

Analyst Andrew Wade at Numis downgraded the firm’s stock to “hold” on the basis that recent share price gains mean the stock is now fairly valued.