Recent sunny weather has helped DIY chain Homebase, which notched up a like-for-like sales increase of 3.8 per cent in the 13 weeks to May 30.
Home Retail boss Terry Duddy remained cautious and said trading focus would be on “driving cash gross margin and cost efficiencies”.
Nomura rates Home Retail a buy and increased its price target to 288p. The broker said: “We may see a strong first half out-turn, particularly at Homebase. We continue to highlight the strong net cash position of the group and strong cash flow generation.”
UBS, also advising buy, increased its profit forecast by £10m to £210m. “The consensus range looks set to move up for the first time in about 18 months,” the broker said.