Argos’s like-for-likes rose 4.9% in its first quarter, driven by seasonal product sales and continued growth in electricals.
Video gaming and TV sales grew, offsetting a small decline in tablet sales.
Meanwhile, at sister firm Homebase like-for-likes jumped 7.9% and total sales advanced 5.5% to £445m. Gross margin dropped 50 basis points at the DIY chain as its top selling seasonal and big ticket products diluted margin.
At Argos, online now represents 42% of total sales while mobile accounts for 21%. Total sales were up 4.8% to £868m at the Home Retail owned general merchandise retailer in the 13 weeks to May 31 but gross margin dipped 25 basis points as low margin electricals made up more of the sales mix.
At Homebase, better weather drove a seasonal products sales rise and represented 40% of total revenue.
There was also growth in sales of big ticket products, while sales for the remaining categories were slightly lower overall, according to the retailer.
Home Retail Group chief executive John Walden said: “We have had a good start to the year, with both Argos and Homebase delivering positive like-for-like sales growth. This growth was aided by a strong performance in seasonal products in both businesses, due to better weather overall versus the comparable period last year. In addition to this strong performance in seasonal products, Argos delivered further sales growth in electrical products whilst Homebase achieved growth in sales of big ticket products.”
“We are pleased with this encouraging start to the year, but remain mindful that we will annualise more challenging comparators in both businesses through the remainder of the year, including Homebase’s very strong seasonal performance in the second quarter of last year.”