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Homebase sales stronger than stablemate

Published: 20 April 2011
Home Retail Group (HRG) full-year results, issued this morning, show Homebase has outperformed both its sister chain Argos and the group results for the 52 weeks to February 26.
Homebase sales stronger than stablemate
The results, in line with the published expectations, showed that while sales declines were seen across the group, Homebase was ahead of the sales trend.

Total sales for the group declined 2.8% with Argos posting a total sales decline of 3.5%. Homebase on the other hand saw total sales fall 1.4%. However, the chain closed eight stores in the period. If the sales from this closed space is taken into account Homebase sales only declined 0.3% in like-for-like terms.

Benchmark operating profits declined 13.4% for the group, with Argos posting a 17.7% decline. This is in stark contrast to Homebase benchmark operating profits, which rose 15.5%.

Gross margin, however, remained flat, as stock management and "a reduced level of promotional activity" mitigated any declines

Commenting on the results, HRG chairman Oliver Stocken said: "Economic uncertainty and a low level of consumer confidence continue to adversely impact customer spending patterns." However, he added that the group was "well positioned for the economic recovery over the longer term." Therefore, full-year dividend was held at 14.7 pence.


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