U.K.'s Home Retail reports 1% rise in pre-tax profit

The operator of Argos and Homebase stores, Home Retail Group, said its pre-tax profit jumped 1 per cent to settle at £123 million during the six-month period ended August 29.

Total sales at Home Retail Group soared 3 per cent to settle at £2.8 billion same period.

Same-store sales at Homebase jumped 3 per cent, while Argos reported a fall of 2 per cent in sales from last year.

Argos profits stood at £79.7 million, down £6 million from a year earlier.

Terry Duddy, CEO of the company, said, "The group's operational and financial strength will continue to sustain our competitive advantage in the market place.

Home Retail opened 9 new Argos stores in six months to August 29, bringing the total number of stores to 739.