Wesfarmers, Australian parent company to Homebase (soon to be known as Bunnings) has released its results for the first trading quarter, with sales at the former HRG retailer in line with expectations at £320m.
Customer participation as measured by transactions were up 8.4% like-for-like at Homebase for the quarter, with the repositioning of the brand reported as "well underway." New trading strategies implemented included merchandising, pricing, marketing and operations. The retailer has also been "reshaped with a home improvement and garden market focus."
And, thanks to a £60m inventory investment, Homebase now boasts a wider product choice and deeper stock holdings.
Wesfarmers reported "pleasing team engagement" within its UK base and positive investment development. Trading has been reportedly steady during the four initial months of Wesfarmers' ownership, with the "disruption from change agenda well managed."
Preparation is currently underway for several Bunnings Warehouse pilot stores to open, with four to six expected during the 2017 financial year. Successful pilots will be a pre-cursor to further investment.
Bunnings chief executive officer John Gillam said that trading was steady and that "good progress is being made across all elements of the acquisition agenda.
"There is a strong focus within the business on continuing to transition core ranges across to home improvement and garden products. Pleasing progress is being made with this work.”
Transitional services put in place during and immediately after the takeover have now begun to terminate.
Total sales for Bunnings in Australia and New Zealand were $2.7bn, up 7.4% on the last quarter.