Sales of TVs and consoles drives performance
Strong growth in TVs and games consoles at Argos helped Home Retail Group [HRG] raise expectations for full-year results.

In light of an alteration of the year-end accounting date to March 3, HRG today issued a trading statement for the final eight weeks of the year.

Like-for-like sales at Argos were up 3 per cent compared with the same period last year. The retailer showed a 37 per cent rise in internet sales, driven by the Check & Reserve system, while home delivery rose 24 per cent.

By the end of the financial year, Argos will have opened 25 more stores. It plans to open a similar number in the next financial year.

At Homebase, like-for-like sales were up 9.9 per cent, driven by big-ticket products and improved sales in garden maintenance.

'This short trading period to the end of our new financial year-end has seen a performance ahead of our expectations. We now expect profits on a 52-week pro-forma basis to be slightly above the current market consensus, driven principally by Argos,' said Home Retail Group chief executive officer Terry Duddy.

'While we are pleased with the most recent performance and the likely outturn for the financial year just completed, we remain cautious on a retail environment that is still expected to be challenging,' Duddy added.

Home Retail has consistently been linked with a possible takeover bid from private equity