The owner of catalogue chain Argos today said it was approaching the key Christmas trading period cautiously after posting a slide in profits.
Home Retail Group reported an 11% drop in pre-tax profits to £103m (€117m) in the 26 weeks to August 28, after a slight fall in sales to £2.7bn (€3.07bn).
Argos revenues were down 6.5% on a like-for-like basis, leading to a 4% total decline in sales for the catalogue business at £1.8bn (€2.04bn).
The group warned that Argos’ core customers had been hit harder by the economic climate and while sales of smaller products, such as toys, were improving, demand for big-ticket items including furniture and technology products was suffering.
There was a better performance at Homebase, which is also owned by Home Retail, as like-for-like sales declined 0.8% to £855.3m (€973.2m).