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Published on October 23rd, 2013 | by The GC Team


Argos posts first-half sales growth

Argos and Homebase parent Home Retail Group today announced its results for the 26 weeks to 31 August 2013, reporting a good first half, with both businesses delivering positive like-for-like sales performances.

Sales at the Group rose 3% to £2,596m, with like-for-likes up 2.3% at Argos and 5.9% at Homebase.

Sales at Argos grew to £1,716.8 million.

The company reported that electrical products continued to deliver rises, driven by strong growth in tablets and white goods, which together with strong sales of seasonal products in the second quarter, more than offset declines in furniture and homewares.

Argos’ gross margin rate was down by approximately 75 basis points, principally driven by an adverse sales mix impact resulting from the improved performance in margin dilutive electrical products.

Benchmark operating profit was £7.7 million; a £4.4 million (136%) increase on the comparable period last year.

Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, said Argos “performed well” and recorded its fifth consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth.

The multi-channel retailer continued to grow its internet sales, powered by the growth in mobile commerce, which now accounts for 16% of Argos’ total sales.

“The Argos transformation is well underway,” said Duddy, “including the introduction of new smartphone and tablet apps, the extension of the ‘hub & spoke’ trial, the launch of a digital Christmas gift guide and the development of digital concept stores.”

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, Duddy commented: “We expect consumer spending will remain subdued, and whilst some macroeconomic indicators are improving, these have not yet led to an increase in household disposable income. Overall we are making good progress and are in excellent operational shape as we approach the key Christmas trading period.”

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