January 16, 2014 / 7:16 AM / 4 years ago

Home Retail names Argos boss Walden as group CEO

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Home Retail Group, Britain’s biggest household goods retailer, said on Thursday the head of its Argos business John Walden would replace outgoing chief executive Terry Duddy.

The news came as Argos said a strong performance in its Christmas quarter meant it expected full-year group benchmark profit to be towards the top end of a range of market expectations of 90 million pounds ($147.16 million) to 109 million pounds.

Duddy, one of the longest serving leaders in the stores sector, announced in September that he would quit the firm by July. Argos Managing Director Walden, who has been with the group since Feb. 2012, had been viewed by analysts as a clear favourite for the top job and will start as CEO on March 14.

Home Retail said on Thursday sales at Argos stores open over a year for the 18 weeks to Jan. 4 had risen 3.8 percent, and were up 4.7 percent at its Homebase DIY chain, both ahead of analyst forecasts for a 2.5 percent rise at both divisions.

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