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Argos basks in summer glow.

Retail group GUS forecast better-than-expected profits today after a strong summertime performance from its high street catalogue chain Argos.

GUS said sales at Argos in the six months to September 30 rose 14pc, with the figure on a like-for-like basis ahead by 7pc.

Strong demand for consumer electronics, mobile phones, bedding, textiles and toys fuelled the growth, which came at a challenging time for the retail sector because of the hot summer temperatures.

Across the business, which also includes DIY chain Homebase and the Experian credit checking arm, GUS said that it had performed well.

Chief executive John Peace said it was now likely that profits for the half-year period would be better than the City had been expecting.

He said: "GUS has completed a successful first half, with good momentum in all of our businesses.

"Despite challenging conditions in some of our markets, we look forward with confidence to the second half of the year and beyond."

The performance of GUS continues the trend seen in the last year, with like-for-like sales in the three months to June 30 up 8pc.

Homebase, which GUS acquired in a pounds 900m deal last year, grew sales by 4pc in a seven month period to September 30, with the figure up 2pc on a same-store basis.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 15, 2003
Words:214
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