Argos and Homebase struggling
GUS has announced a date for the demerger of Burberry as it reports its first-quarter figures. The upmarket fashion brand will be split from the group in December.

The group suffered from the general downturn in consumer confidence, with Argos growing sales by 2 per cent in the three months to June 30, but like-for-like sales decreased by 4 per cent.

Homebase grew total sales for the four months to June 30 by 1 per cent, but again like-for-like sales fell, by 2 per cent.

The group's credit arm Experian offset the meagre retail gains with an increase in sales of 27 per cent.

GUS chief executive John Peace said: 'In the first quarter of the financial year, the non-food, non-clothing market in the UK continued to decline on a like-for-like basis. Argos and Homebase cannot be immune from this downturn in demand or from the higher-cost inflation that retailers are facing. However, against this challenging background, both Argos and Homebase outperformed their markets.'