Like-for-like (LFL) sales at Home Retail Group's struggling Argos chain have taken another tumble in 2012, but the group says its 2011/12 results should still be in line with expectations.
Argos stores which have been open more than 12 months saw sales down 8.5% year-on-year in the eight weeks to February 25th, mainly because of weakness in the consumer electronics market.
The group managed to open one new store during the period while 12 closed, reducing the total portfolio to 748 stores.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
Internet sales were up "slightly" on the prior year and now account for 40% of revenues. Gross margins were flat.
The Homebase chain fared a little better, but still saw LFL sales down 6.5%. There was one closure during the period, reducing the store portfolio to 341.
The group says the problem for Homebase has been a weakness in "big ticket" items, like new kitchens, as consumers have seen their disposable incomes drop.
Homebase's gross margin did increase by 1.75 percentage points on stock management improvements.
"With trends in this short, low volume, trading period being broadly as we anticipated, group benchmark profit before tax for the 52-week period ended 25 February 2012 is expected to be in-line with current market expectations," revealed Terry Duddy, Home Retail's Chief Executive.
Shares in Home Retail were flat at 09:42. Over the past 12 months the stock has fallen 41%.
In the doghouse: hundreds of investment funds are underperforming - is it time to sell?
News The latest Spot The Dog research from Bestinvest reveals 151 funds are failing to beat their benchmark. We reveal the worst performers
By Marc Shoffman Published
Nationwide: House prices creep up for the first time in over a year
Nationwide’s latest house price index reveals property prices are finally rising. Will this pattern continue in 2024?
By Vaishali Varu Published