Argos like-for-like sales continue to remain under pressure, slumping 8.5% in the 8 weeks to February 25.

However, owner Home Retail said it expects full year pre tax profits to be in line with market expectations.

Argos’ total sales declined 7.7% to £480m in the period as poor consumer electronic sales hit performance. Gross margin was flat.

Online sales “grew slightly”, and now represent 40% of Argos’ total sales, up from 36% a year ago.

In the period a net 11 shops closed, reducing the portfolio to 748.

Home Retail chief executive Terry Duddy said: “With trends in this short, low volume, trading period being broadly as we anticipated, group benchmark profit before tax for the 52-week period ended February 25 is expected to be in-line with current market expectations.

“Whilst we begin the new financial year in good operational shape, we will continue to manage robustly both the cost base and the cash position of the Group, while prioritising investment in the ongoing development of our multi-channel capabilities.”

At the retail group’s DIY business Homebase, like-for-likes dropped 6.5%, as poor big ticket sales dragged down performance.

Total sales fell 6.2% to £195m. However, gross margins improved 175 basis points, “driven mainly by stock management benefits”.

One net store closed reducing the store portfolio to 341.