Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Argos owner Home Retail Group lifts profit forecast

Argos store
HRG said it was pleased with the performance at Argos

Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group (HRG) has increased its full-year profit forecast after sales in the second half of 2009 beat expectations.

The retailer now expects its pre-tax profits for the current financial year to 31 March to total £285m, £20m more than it previously predicted.

The update came as it said same-store sales at Argos increased by 0.1% in the 18 weeks to 2 January.

Sales growth at Homebase was stronger, rising 4% on a like-for-like basis.

Despite the increased profit forecast, HRG said trading conditions would "remain challenging" in 2010.

HRG chief executive Terry Duddy said Argos had "performed ahead of our plans in its most important trading period".

The group said it was also continuing to benefit from increased cost savings at both Argos and Homebase.

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