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Sales slide at Homebase continues

Published: 12 June 2008
Like-for-like performance at home enhancement retailer stands at -12% for quarter; Argos' like-for-like sales flat
Sales slide at Homebase continues
Fresh evidence of Homebase's worsening sales performance emerged today with the release of figures showing that sales are 12% down for the quarter.

Total sales fell 5% to £440m in the first 13 weeks for the financial year from March 2 to May 31, 2008.

The owners, Home Retail Group, cited poor weather conditions in March and April compared to sunnier spells last year and went on to detail that seasonal categories, which account for 40% of first quarter sales, experienced like-for-like declines of approximately 20%.

However, Homebase said it found better performance in non-seasonal categories such as furniture and a kitchen installation service (although growth slowed for the latter during the quarter).

In contrast sister business Argos saw total sales grow 4% to £929m in the 13 weeks with like-for-like sales at 0%.

Successes were consumer electronics and the continuing strength of internet sales.

Terry Duddy, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said: "While the consumer outlook remains challenging, we approach it from a position of both financial and operational strength, and at this early stage our expectations for the full year are unchanged."

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