Total sales at Argos grew by 0.9 per cent to £937m. Net new space contributed 3.7 per cent with five new stores opened in the quarter, taking the portfolio to 735.
Like-for-like sales declined by 2.8 per cent in the quarter. Good growth continued in consumer electronics and toy sales were strongly ahead.
Multi-channel sales accounted for 42 per cent of total Argos sales; within this, online Check & Reserve grew by 45 per cent.
There was an approximate 75 basis point gross margin decline, driven mainly by the sales mix. The firm continues to expect the impact of adverse currency movements on the gross margin rate will increase through the course of the year.
Terry Duddy, chief executive of Home Retail Group, commented: “Argos and Homebase each enjoyed better than expected sales in the quarter and grew market share.
“At this early stage of the financial year we continue to plan cautiously, with our trading focus remaining on driving cash gross margin and achieving further cost efficiencies.”