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Home Retail Group - Second Quarter Trading Statement

Home Retail Group PLC , the home and general merchandise retailer, Thursday reported a 1.4% rise in comparable sales in the quarter ended Sept. 1 at Argos, while Homebase's were down 3.7%, adding that it expects to deliver full year group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations though, the outcome will depend upon trading at Argos in its peak Christmas period.

MAIN FACTS:

-Argos has had a solid first half of the year supported by its multi-channel performance, while at Homebase seasonal product sales continued to be adversely impacted by the poor weather conditions.

-Continues to plan cautiously but approach peak trading period in good operational shape

-Argos sales totaled GBP867 million for the period, up 1%; Homebase sales totaed GBP366 million, down 3.9%

-Argos net closed space reduced sales by 0.4%; seven stores closed in the quarter, reducing the store portfolio to 739.

-The approximate 75 basis point gross margin decline at Argos was driven by an adverse sales mix and price investment, partially offset by the expected benefit of a reduced level of stock clearance activity and the anticipated net benefit of favorable currency and reduced shipping costs.

-Homebase net closed space reduced sales by 0.2%; one store closed in the quarter, reducing the store portfolio to 340.

-Shares closed Wednesday at 99 pence valuing the company at GBP809 million.

Source: Market Watch
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-retail-argos-comp-sales-up-homebase-off-2012-09-13

13 September 2012
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