Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Argos Announces Return to Growth

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Argos Announces Return to Growth

Article excerpt

CATALOGUE chain Argos has reported a return to sales growth as demand for iPads and Kindles offset declining interest in video games and MP3 players.

Argos parent Home Retail Group said the continued improvement in consumer electronics resulted in like-for-like sales growth of 1.4% in the 13 weeks to September 1 following a 0.2% drop in the first quarter.

However, same-store sales at Home Retail's Homebase chain continued to fall in the second quarter, by 3.7%, as weather dampened demand for seasonal products, although the figure was better than the 8.3% decline in the previous three-month period. Home Retail chief executive Terry Duddy said: "As this stage, we expect to deliver full-year group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations, but, as always, the outcome will depend upon trading at Argos in its peak Christmas period."

Shares fell 3% as analysts continued to question the group's strategy.

Freddie George, Seymour Pierce retail analyst, said: "There appears to be little loyalty from customers with the company's core categories and there is growing competition from the specialists and food retail multiples. …

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