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By
Reuters
Published
Oct 22, 2014
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Home Retail to cut Homebase chain by a quarter

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 22, 2014

LONDON, United Kingdom - Home Retail, Britain's biggest household goods retailer, said it will close a quarter of its Homebase home improvement stores by 2018 as it prioritises the development of its main Argos chain.

The group said on Wednesday its current estate of 323 Homebase stores will be reduced by 25 percent over the next four years through a combination of lease expirations and property exit deals.

The Homebase store in Sheffield | Source: Home Retail group


It added that Homebase managing director Paul Loft will step down when a successor is found.

The Homebase downsizing forms part of a strategic review carried out by Home Retail's new chief executive John Walden.

The group also posted a 13 percent rise in underlying first half profit to 30.9 million pounds in the six months to Aug. 30, below analysts' expectations of 34.6 million pounds.

Home Retail said it was on track to make underlying pre-tax profit for the 2014-15 year in line with market expectations - 127 million pounds, according to Reuters data, up from 115 million pounds in 2013-14.

However, it said the full-year outcome will, as always, depend upon Argos' Christmas trading.

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