The Argos and Homebase owner warned that unless there is respite from the consumer slowdown full-year profits will come in at the low end of City expectations.
As chief executive Terry Duddy unveiled a 19 per cent fall in “benchmark” interim profits to£121 million on flat sales of£2.74 billion and a£540 million write-down at Homebase, he said that like-for-likes at both his chains have fallen in “high single digits” since the end of August.
Sell, advised Pali’s Nick Bubb, who cut his full-year forecast by£20 million to£330 million.
Panmure Gordon’s Philip Dorgan downgraded to hold and noted: “The numbers aren’t great and current trade is awful. The company is still generating cash, but we are throwing in the towel on our buy recommendation.”
Teathers, advising hold, said: “Forecast risk remains on the downside.”