Switch made to reflect home offer
Argos Retail Group has changed its name to Home Retail Group and posted a mixed trading update to coincide with the consolidated company's debut.

Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said the name change has been made to reflect the fact that customers shopping at Argos and Homebase can buy everything they need for the home and garden.

He added that he looked forward to 'starting life as a separate public company', but added that the group remained cautious over trading.

In the five months to August 31, like-for-like sales at Argos rose 5 per cent on a 13 per cent rise in total sales. However, home improvement chain Homebase lost sales, posting a 3 per cent like-for-like decline and a slim 1 per cent rise in total sales.

The performance of Argos was boosted by World Cup sales of flatscreen TVs, alongside bedroom furniture, which performed well over the period.

At Homebase, gross margin was ahead of last year because of a cut back in promotions. Sales of furniture and kitchens continued to show strong growth throughout the period, while core DIY and decorating ranges remained weak.

The improvement in sales in the later months of the period was driven by warmer weather encouraging purchases of seasonal categories.

Argos and Homebase will continue to trade under their existing brands.