Home Retail reports disappointing festive sales

Home Retail receives 340m offer for Homebase
Home Retail receives 340m offer for Homebase

​T​akeover target Home Retail reported a worse-then-expected 2.2 per​ ​cent drop in like-for-like sales at its biggest chain Argos, hours after its said it was in advanced talks to sell its Homebase chain for ​£​340​m.

Home Retail, which supermarket group Sainsbury's wants to buy, said Argos suffered a 13 per cent reduction in traditional walk-in sales during December​ and a 10 per cent increase in digital sales was not enough to compensate.

Analysts had expected like-for-like sales at Argos to rise by 0.3 per cent in the 18 weeks to 2 January​.

H​ome Retail said its benchmark ​pre-tax ​profit for the financial year ending February would be around the bottom of the current range of market expectations of ​£​92​m to ​£118​.m

Like-for-like sales at DIY chain Homebase rose five​ per cent. It said late on Wednesday it was close to selling Homebase to Australia's Wesfarmers.​