Argos owner sees profits rise as turnaround push shows promise

Post by Tom Williams on 30th April 2014 in General industry, Technology

Argos owner sees profits rise as turnaround push shows promise

Catalogue retailer Argos' transformation into a digital business is starting to bear fruit for its owner, after it reported a rise of more than a quarter in profits for its last financial year.

Home Retail Group, which also owns the Homebase DIY store chain, said it made £115.4million in the year to March 1, up by 27 per cent over the previous year.

It marks a small but significant turnaround in the company's fortunes, after it saw its profits fall steadily from a peak of £433million in 2008.

Sales at the 734 Argos stores were three per cent higher year-on-year, at £5.7billion, as customers bought new TVs, tablet computers and games consoles.

Sister business Homebase's sales rise was even greater, at 5.9 per cent, thanks mainly to people updating their kitchens.

Argos saw its online sales rise year-on-year by 44 per cent, propelled strongly by an 89 per cent jump in people shopping using tablets and smartphones.

Earlier this month, Argos unveiled the first of a series of new-look 'digital stores', geared towards customers ordering using their own connected devices, which does away with the well-known paper catalogue displays.

The company claimed it had freed up the space for it to accommodate 40 per cent more stock than before in the same area at the store at the Manchester Fort retail park.

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