Argos has posted a better-than-expected like-for-like slip of 0.2% in its first quarter as its multichannel offer paid off.

Analysts were expecting a 4% like-for-like slump in the quarter to June 2.

Parent Home Retail Group said the group remains on track to meet full-year profit.

Argos total sales edged up 0.2% to £819m.

Argos sister chain, DIY retailer Homebase, has revealed a like-for-like plummet of 8.3% as it was impacted by the wettest April in 100 years.

Homebase total sales dropped 8.1% to £421m.

Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said: “Over a particularly volatile trading period, Argos had a solid start to the year supported by its multi-channel performance, while at Homebase the poor weather conditions adversely impacted seasonal product sales. 

“At this early stage of the financial year we are comfortable with current market expectations for full year benchmark profit.  

“We will continue to plan cautiously, managing robustly both the cost base and the cash position of the Group while prioritising our investment in the ongoing development of our multi-channel capabilities.”

Total internet sales surged 17% at Argos, representing 41% of its sales.

Argos’ sales performance across its online Check & Reserve service improved 24%, representing 29% of total Argos sales. Total multichannel sales represented 51% of Argos sales, up from 46% a year earlier.

Two stores closed in the quarter, reducing the store portfolio to 746.

Argos margins declined by 25 basis points as a result of an adverse sales mix and price investment. This was offset in part by the expected benefit of less stock clearance activity and the benefit of favourable currency and reduced shipping costs.

Sales at Homebase were hindered by the poor performance on seasonal products, which were down 15% and usually represent 40% of sales at this time of year.

Sales of big ticket items were also down in “a market that continues to be challenging”.

Margins at Homebase rocketed 225 basis points driven by a reduced level of promotional sales, the net benefit of favourable currency and reduced shipping costs and the sales mix.