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Annual Results

Home Retail sales down

27 April 2016 07:32

Home Retail Group's benchmark profit before tax decreased by 28% to GBP94.7m in the 52 weeks to 27 February.

Sales were down 1% to GBP5,668m. Sales were flat at Argos and down 3% at Homebase.

Operating and distribution costs decreased by £21m to £1,887m, Argos costs increased by £22m, Homebase costs decreased by £44m.

The recommended offer from J Sainsbury plc for the purchase of Home Retail Group plc resulted in an exceptional goodwill impairment charge of £852m, leading to a total loss after tax of £808m.

Chief executive John Walden said: "The past year has been a landmark period for the Group, during which we have completed the sale of Homebase and recommended to shareholders the offer from J Sainsbury plc for the acquisition of the remaining Group, principally Argos. I am pleased that, with its offer for Home Retail Group, Sainsbury's has recognised the good progress we have made in transforming Argos into a digital retail leader. "During the year we continued to progress the Argos Transformation Plan, including the introduction of Fast Track, which offer market-leading propositions for both same-day home delivery and store collection. We have been encouraged by the customer response to Fast Track with our on-time delivery rates and customer satisfaction having continued to improve to leading levels. Argos also now has a proven digital store model, including small formats and concessions, which require lower capital outlay and provide customers with fast access to an expanded product range regardless of store stock capacity. "Finally, the Group ended the year with a cash balance of £623m, which is significantly stronger than previously anticipated. With leading digital capabilities, new Fast Track propositions, proven and flexible digital store formats and strong financial resources, we are well positioned for an exciting future."

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