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Profits are halved as Argos sees sales drop

By Holly Williams

The owner of Argos has warned about full-year profits after first half earnings nearly halved at the high street chain amid weak demand for televisions and tablet computers and hefty start-up costs for its same-day delivery service.

Operating profits at Argos dropped 47% to £6.4m in the six months to August 29, with like-for-like sales down 3.4%.

The company, which has 27 stores in Northern Ireland, announced it was creating 280 part-time jobs here in time for Christmas.

Parent firm Home Retail Group said its DIY business Homebase enjoyed a better start to the year, with earnings up 23% to £34.3m. This helped group underlying pre-tax profits rise 10% to £34.1m in the first half, but chief executive John Walden said the overall performance was "mixed".

Home Retail hopes for a pick-up in sales at Argos, but cautioned that "challenging" trading, costs of its Fast Track service and an unpredictable Christmas were likely to see annual profits fall "slightly" short.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph