Retailer blames poor housing market
The world's biggest home improvement retailer Home Depot has issued its second profit warning in two months, blaming a downturn in the US housing market.

Home Depot said that it expects profits for the year to slide by 15 per cent to 18 per cent, with total retail sales down 1 per cent to 2 per cent and comparable store sales down mid-single digits. In May, the retailer said that it had expected earnings per share to be down 9 per cent for the year.

Home Depot chief financial officer and executive vice-president for corporate services Carol Tome said: 'While we expect the housing market to remain challenging for the rest of 2007 and into 2008, we plan to continue our reinvestment plans for the long-term health of our business, understanding that it will put short-term pressure on earnings.'

The group revealed it is to open about 108 stores during the year.

Tome added: 'We are confident that, over the long term, we will deliver productivity improvements and enhance returns on invested capital as the investments take hold.'