Argos owner takes a hit in ‘landmark’ year for group

Home Retail Group was hit by impairments linked to the sale of Argos. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Home Retail Group was hit by impairments linked to the sale of Argos. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

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Home Retail Group has reported a full-year, pre-tax loss of £804 million after being hit with an £852m exceptional goodwill impairment charge relating to the takeover of its Argos arm.

Stripping out the charge, annual operating profit slumped 28 per cent to £94.7m and sales across the group dipped 1 per cent to £5.6 billion.

Earlier this year, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s struck a deal to acquire Argos for £1.4 billion and the agreement is expected to complete before September. Home Retail sold Homebase to Australian retail giant Wesfarmers for £340m in January.

Home Retail chief executive John Walden said: “The past year has been a landmark period for the group, during which we have completed the sale of Homebase and recommended to shareholders the offer from J Sainsbury for the acquisition of the remaining group, principally Argos.”

The group ended the year with a cash balance of £623m.

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