Argos owner, Home Retail, announces €687m drop in value

The owner of Homebase today slashed £542m (€687m) from the value of the struggling DIY chain and warned of the impact of recent financial turmoil on profits.

Home Retail Group said it would cut costs and investment in Homebase as the economic outlook deteriorates.

The group, which also owns Argos, said like-for-like sales had fallen by “high single-digits” at both chains since the end of August.

Chief executive Terry Duddy said trading had “worsened in the turbulent recent weeks”.

“If these conditions continue through our peak trading months of November and December, the profit outcome for the year would likely be around the bottom of current market expectations,” he warned.

Home’s underlying profits fell 19% to £121m (€153m) in the six months to August 30.

But the inclusion of the Homebase writedown plunged the company to an overall pre-tax loss of £437m (€554m).

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