Argos says sales of electricals - including video gaming, tablets, TVs and white goods - helped it deliver a strong financial quarter, as its parent company appoints a new chief exec.
Home Retail Group has announced that John Walden - who has been Argos' MD for almost two years - will join the board as chief executive from March 14th, following a period of handover from current chief exec Terry Duddy.
The news comes as Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Homebase, publishes its Interim Management Statement for the 18 weeks from September 1st 2013 to January 4th 2014.
Total sales at Argos grew by 3.6 per cent to £1,808m, while like-for-like sales increased by 3.8 per cent.
Internet sales grew to represent 46 per cent of total Argos sales, up from 42 per cent for the same period last year. Mobile commerce sales grew by 75 per cent against the same period last year to represent 20 per cent of total Argos sales in the period, up from 12 per cent in the prior year.
Argos said in a statement: "Electrical products delivered a strong sales performance principally as a result of growth in video gaming, tablets, televisions and white goods, partially offset by the continued declines in audio and photographic sales.
"The growth in electrical products was partially offset by declines in the homewares and jewellery categories."
Duddy said: "We are pleased that both Argos and Homebase have delivered another period of good trading performance despite a challenging consumer environment. [Strong internet and mobile sales] gives further reinforcement to our plan for Argos to become a digital retail leader.
"As a result of the trading performance, we now expect to achieve full year Group benchmark profits towards the top end of the current range of market expectations of £90m to £109m. We remain on track to deliver the investment plans in both businesses."
John Walden added: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Group at such an exciting time. In Argos and Homebase we have two of the UK's best known retail brands, which have both shown good recent progress and have clear strategies in place to deliver growth. The retail landscape is changing quickly, and I am optimistic that with solid plans and 50,000 talented colleagues, Home Retail Group is well positioned for a successful future."
John Coombe, Chairman, commented: "As the result of a thorough search process, I am delighted to announce the appointment of John Walden as the next Chief Executive of Home Retail Group plc.
"I would also like to extend the Group's thanks to Terry for his long serving commitment. His contribution during his time with the Group has been significant, including driving the development of the Group, providing clear leadership through challenging times and pioneering changes in retail that position the business ready for a digital future."