The group has been pumping money into both its businesses. It has been busy trying to reinvent its general merchandise business, and largest division, Argos into a digital retailer, while revamping its home improvement Homebase stores.
"At this early stage of the financial year, we expect to deliver full year group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations," said Chief Executive
The home and general merchandise retailer said Argos sales in the 13 weeks ended
Big-selling items at Argos during the quarter were seasonal products such as outdoor furniture, toys and electrical products, which it said offset a decline in categories such as jewellery and homewares.
It said sales at Argos in the quarter were driven by electrical products such as video game systems and televisions ahead of the World Cup.
"Video game systems and TV's sold well ahead of the World Cup, which offset a decline in tablets, as a result of the continued shift of sales from Apple iPads to cheaper tablets. There was also reduced sales of the Kindle Fire," Walden told journalists in a call Thursday morning.
Although the Argos store portfolio remained unchanged at 734, net closed space reduced sales by 0.1% in the quarter, the company said.
At Homebase, sales were up 5.5% at
However, the group warned that strong comparative figures for the Homebase business in the second quarter of last year will leave like-for-like sales in negative territory in the current quarter.
"In the second quarter of last year we saw record growth of 11%, with means we are unlikely to report positive like-for-like growth in the second quarter of this year," said Walden.
At the company's full-year results in April, it gave a slightly cautious outlook for the year ahead, citing some improvement in economic conditions in the
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