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Argos owner to pay £30m in fee errors

By Holly Williams

Argos owner Home Retail Group is setting aside at least £30m to compensate store card customers after overcharging late payment fees.

The company said it had uncovered errors in the calculation of late payment fees for some Argos card customers and found the issue was more widespread than previously thought.

The details emerged as the group posted its best sales performance for two years after shrugging off poor early spring weather and the "distraction" of its £1.4bn takeover by supermarket Sainsbury's.

Home Retail Group said like-for-like sales at Argos, which has around 20 stories in Northern Ireland, edged 0.1% higher in the 13 weeks to May 28, while total sales rose 2.6% to £868m thanks to a surge in online sales.

John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said the card compensation issue was "not material", but confirmed it affected up to 10% of card customers.

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