New Homebase owner Wesfarmers has reported an increase in transactions in its first complete quarter since acquiring the DIY retailer.

Sales at Homebase came in at £320m for the 13 weeks to September 25 and, on a like-for-like basis, customer participation as measured by transactions grew 8.4%.

The DIY firm was snapped up by Wesfarmers from Home Retail Group earlier this year in a deal worth £340m.

Wesfarmers is currently in the process of rebranding Homebase under its Bunnings DIY fascia. The first Bunnings stores are poised to open in the UK early next year. 

Bunnings chief executive officer John Gillam said trading in the UK and Ireland continued to be steady and “good progress is being made across all elements of the acquisition agenda”.

He said: “There is a strong focus within the business on continuing to transition core ranges across to home improvement and garden products. Pleasing progress is being made with this work.”

Earlier this week, the new owners decided to pull Hombase’s 22 Laura Ashley concessions from its stores.

Gillam added: “The implementation of new pricing, marketing and operational strategies within Homebase is achieving results in line with plans.”

Wesfarmers group sales

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said Wesfarmers’ group first quarter sales, with the exception of Target, built on “strong sales growth achieved in the prior corresponding period”.

Bunnings Australia and New Zealand reported total sales growth of 7.4%, despite an impact from the stock liquidation activities of the Masters business.

Goyder added that its discount retailer Target experienced a “challenging quarter”.

He said: “The accelerated conversion to everyday low pricing and the decision to cease the Toy Sale contributed to a 17.1% decline in sales.”