Sunshine boosts sales at Home Retail's Homebase

LONDON, Sept 12 Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:46am EDT

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Britain's Home Retail Group PLC said summer sunshine delivered a big boost to sales at its DIY chain Homebase in the second quarter, and helped shift seasonal products at its biggest business, Argos.

The company said like-for-like sales at Homebase rose by 11 percent in the 13 weeks to Aug. 31, comfortably beating analyst expectations of 3.3 percent growth, while sales at Argos on the same measure were up 2.7 percent, also beating market forecasts of 2.0 percent.

Chief Executive Terry Duddy, who recently said he would quit by next July, said he expected to deliver full-year profit in line with current market expectations, although the outcome would, as always, depend upon Christmas trading at Argos.

"Whilst we continue to expect consumer spending to remain subdued, we approach the important Christmas trading period in good operational shape," he said on Thursday.

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