Monday 26 September 2016

Home Retail Group hit by £852m charge after Argos takeover

Published 27/04/2016 | 09:24

There are Argos and Homebase stores across the island of Ireland
There are Argos and Homebase stores across the island of Ireland

Argos owner Home Retail Group has reported a full year pre-tax loss of £804m after being hit with an £852m exceptional goodwill impairment charge relating to the Sainsbury's takeover of the high street retailer.

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Stripping out the charge, annual operating profit slumped 28pc to £94.7m and sales across the group were down 1pc to £5.6bn.

The exceptional impairment charge relates to Argos's prior ownership under Great Universal Stores, which acquired the business in 1998.

The group said: "The recommended offer from Sainsbury's for the purchase of Home Retail Group resulted in an exceptional goodwill impairment charge of £852m."

Earlier this year, supermarket Sainsbury's struck a deal to acquire Argos for £1.4bn and the deal is expected to complete before September.

John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said: "The group ended the year with a cash balance of £623m, which is significantly stronger than previously anticipated.

"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 sold Homebase to Australian retail giant Wesfarmers for £340m in January.

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