But Homebase struggles as wet weather hits summer performance

Home Retail Group posted robust sales at Argos in the quarter to September 1, but revealed plummeting sales at stablemate Homebase because of wet summer.

Sales jumped 4.8 per cent at Argos for the 13-week period to£942 million, with like-for-likes up 1.8 per cent. The catalogue giant’s performance was driven by strong sales of flatscreen TVs and video game systems.

Its Check & Reserve service, which allows customers to order online and pick up in stores, grew by 24 per cent to represent 12 per cent of sales. A further 23 per cent of sales were generated by home delivery orders placed either in stores or remotely.

However, Homebase suffered a 6.2 per cent drop in sales to£391 million over the quarter, on like-for-likes down 8 per cent. Sales of seasonal products, such as barbecues and garden furniture, tumbled 20 per cent, although sales of other categories were generally stable.

Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said: “The uncertain consumer outlook means we must remain cautious at this stage in the financial year.”