Homebase/Argos face tough trading in 2010
Published: 30 April, 2010
MILTON KEYNES: Home Retail Group, the owner of Homebase and Argos reported an 11% fall in annual profits and warned of a difficult 2010 for UK retailing.
The group posted an underlying pre-tax surplus of £293m for the 12 months to February 28, compared with £328m a year earlier.
Terry Duddy the chief executive said actions taken over the period had prepared the group for the year ahead "likely to remain difficult for UK retail".
The group said the 349-strong Homebase chain delivered its strongest sales performance for five years with 2.7% like-for-like growth over the 12 months, against a 10.2% fall the year before.
Homebase sales were helped by demise of furniture and kitchen group MFI that went into administration in 2008.
PURFLEET: Lord Harris, the head of floor coverings retailer Carpetright, warned Britain could face a "double-dip" recession.
Carpetright, regarded as a bellwether of the economy, reported sales below expectations and predicts a challenging year ahead.
Lord Harris told analysts yesterday that there was "no question" Carpetright's own sales had "double-dipped" and cautioned that the downturn the business has seen could follow in other parts of the retail sector.
He said: "Christmas, September, October, November were very, very good. But I've never seen a time where it goes back so much as it did in January and February."
Like-for-like sales at Carpetright's UK and Ireland stores rose 1.5% in the last three months. During that time, the company closed eight stores.