Flagship business Argos has weathered the consumer downturn so far and interest is likely to centre on prospects. No current trading update is expected, unless sales for the first two months of the year have been significantly different from market expectations.
Home Retail is on ING’s buy list, despite the likelihood of like-for-like declines in the year ahead. The broker said: “The business could surprise on the upside with respect to the underlying quality of its operating businesses and its balance sheet.”
JP Morgan, which took a neutral stance, believed a trading update might be necessary. The broker noted: “UK retail sales clearly took a downward lurch in March and the DSGi profit warning pointed to increased competitive pressure in electricals, Argos’s largest category.”