Sales increased by 3% to £2,669m across the group with like-for-like sales up 2.9% at Argos, and up 4.1% at Homebase.
Home Retail chief executive John Walden said: “The group has performed well in the first half of the year, delivering further like-for-like sales growth at both Argos and Homebase and a 13% increase in Group benchmark profit before tax. Argos has continued to build on its sales growth from the previous financial year, and has increased its benchmark operating profit whilst also making good progress with its Transformation Plan. At this mid-way point in our financial year, we continue to expect to deliver full-year benchmark profit before tax in line with current market expectations, however, as always the full-year outcome will depend upon the important Argos Christmas trading period.”
However it wasn’t all good news: John Walden also confirmed that Home Retail is to close one in four Homebase stores as it looks to create a smaller but stronger business amid falling demand. The move is part of a three-year turnaround plan for the DIY retailer after Home Retail admitted it is too large relative to the demands of the UK market and changing digital shopping patterns.