Mobile Channels Grow Home Retail Group Profits by 15%

Home Retail Group has seen a 15% increase in profit over the past year after it deployed digital initiatives in online and mobile sales.

The parent company of Argos and Homebase reported a yearly operating profit of £129.2m for the 52 weeks ending in February 2015. Sales increased 1.1% to approximately £4bn.

Chief executive of Home Retail Group John Walden said: "I believe the strategic plans we are pursuing across the group will enable us to innovate and lead in a rapidly changing retail market.

"Both Argos and Homebase contributed positive like-for-like sales and profit growth for the second successive year."

The firm also highlighted the success of several digital initiatives for the Argos and Homebase businesses.

Argos' online sales accounted for nearly half of its overall sales for the year, with mobile sales growing by 38%.

Walden added: "Visits to Argos' digital channels increased 23% to over 900 million in FY15 and sales via the internet continued to grow such that they now represent 46% of total Argos sales.

"Sales from mobile and tablet devices grew by 38% to account for 25% of total Argos sales."

During the financial year, Argos transformed 27 of its stores to its digital format, offering click and collect services as well as self-help digital kiosks.

Homebase saw the closure of 30 physical stores as its digital presence grows to include an m-commerce website and tablet applications as part of its "productivity plan".

This move, along with an update to its online sales website, has seen sales through its digital channels grow 10% over the last year, now accounting for 8% of its overall sales.

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