Home Retail Group stocks down despite Argos sales rise

<p>Sales at Argos are up for the first time in five years.</p>

The share price of Home Retail Group was down today (May 1st) despite the news sales at Argos have increased for the first time in five years.

Like-for-like sales at Argos were up by more than two per cent for the year to March 2nd, with total sales up to £3.93 billion. But it was revealed Home Retail Group's other major UK brand – DIY chain Homebase – has continued to struggle.

The company's underlying pre-tax profits have therefore dropped for the fifth year in a row, falling to £91.1 million from £101.6 million 12 months ago.

Chief executive Terry Duddy described the results as "a good outcome to what has been a challenging year" and retail analysts Conlumino stated the failure of high street rival Comet has been a boost to Argos.

On the back of the release of the data, the share price of Home Retail Group fell to 146.29, which is down almost ten points – or over six per cent – on the start of the day's trading.

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