Argos sales dip 4.9%

Argos has posted a 4.9 per cent like-for-like drop in sales to 1,861m from August 29th, 2010 to January 1, 2011.

The catalogue retailer’s parent Home Retail Group again cited video games as the most challenging category, echoing its financial statement made last September.

A statement read: In difficult markets, video gaming continued to be the most challenging category.

There was an excellent performance in laptops and tablets, as well as further good growth in white goods and toys.”

Of the dip in sales, 1.7 per cent was attributed to buying new space as six outlets opened and one closed in the quarter, bringing the total Argos store count to 754. Two stores were also relocated. Total sales dropped 3.2 per cent for the quarter.

For the 44 weeks to January 1st Argos saw a 5.7 per cent like-for-like drop in sales to 3,674m.

Home Retail Group CEO Terry Duddy added: Argos has performed in line with our original expectations for its peak period, despite some particularly challenging and volatile trading conditions in the build-up to Christmas.

We now expect Group benchmark PBT for the year to be around the mid-point of our previously guided range of 250-275m.”

Home Retail Group will announce its results for the remaining eight weeks of its current financial year on March 10th.

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