LONDON, March 13 Britain's Home Retail Group
said annual profit would now be slightly ahead of the
top end of market forecasts after it delivered a much
better-than-expected finish to the year at its Argos and
The firm said on Thursday it expected group benchmark pretax
profit to be "slightly ahead" of the top end of the current
range of market forecasts of 107 to 111 million pounds ($184
million). In January the firm had guided to an annual profit
towards the top end of forecasts of 90-109 million pounds.
Sales at Argos stores open over a year rose 5.2 percent in
the final eight weeks of its fiscal year to March 1, while sales
on the same basis at Homebase rose 9.3 percent.
Both rises were well ahead of average analyst forecasts of a
1.8 percent rise at Argos and 3.4 percent rise at Homebase.