Argos enjoys strong Christmas sales

Sales increased 3.8 per cent to £1.8bn in the 18 weeks from September 1st to January 4th
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Home Retail Group has revealed it enjoyed strong trading figures for the Christmas period.

Argos sales (for stores that have been open for at least a year) increased 3.8 per cent to £1.8bn in the 18 weeks from September 1st to January 4th.

The retailer puts the growth down to a strong demand for computer games and tablets, while online sales made up close to half of all sales during the period.

Elsewhere, like-for-like sales at Homebase increased 4.7 per cent.

Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, commented:

“We are pleased that both Argos and Homebase have delivered another period of good trading performance despite a challenging consumer environment. In its peak trading period Argos has continued to grow internet sales, which now represent nearly half of total Argos sales. This growth was supported by a strong performance in mobile commerce sales which represented 20% of total Argos sales in the period. This gives further reinforcement to our plan for Argos to become a digital retail leader.

“As a result of the trading performance, we now expect to achieve full year Group benchmark profits towards the top end of the current range of market expectations of £90m to £109m. We remain on track to deliver the investment plans in both businesses.”

- See more at: http://www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media/news.aspx?smlbus=1690&article=5267#sthash.Fvu1c1JM.dpuf

“We are pleased that both Argos and Homebase have delivered another period of good trading performance despite a challenging consumer environment," said Terry Duddy, chief executive of Home Retail Group.

"In its peak trading period Argos has continued to grow internet sales, which now represent nearly half of total Argos sales. This growth was supported by a strong performance in mobile commerce sales which represented 20 per cent of total Argos sales in the period. This gives further reinforcement to our plan for Argos to become a digital retail leader.

“As a result of the trading performance, we now expect to achieve full year Group benchmark profits towards the top end of the current range of market expectations of £90m to £109m.

We remain on track to deliver the investment plans in both businesses.”

Home Retail has also confirmed Duddy will hand over the role of chief executive to John Walden on March 14th.

“I would also like to extend the Group’s thanks to Terry for his long serving commitment," said John Coombe, chairman. 

"His contribution during his time with the Group has been significant, including driving the development of the Group, providing clear leadership through challenging times and pioneering changes in retail that position the business ready for a digital future. Terry leaves with our very best wishes for his continued success in the future.”

John Walden added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Group at such an exciting time.

"In Argos and Homebase we have two of the UK’s best known retail brands, which have both shown good recent progress and have clear strategies in place to deliver growth. The retail landscape is changing quickly, and I am optimistic that with solid plans and 50,000 talented colleagues, Home Retail Group is well positioned for a successful future."

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