2.23.2013

Catalogue store demolished payout as profits fall

THE owner of Argos catalog retailer said it has acquired the plug on shareholder dividends because it reveals 60% jump in annual profits. Home Stores Group decision to cut the payout - described as "extremely brutal" by a City analyst - triggering further 12% drop in share beleaguered retail chain, which also owns Homebase. Said council trading conditions, which led to a 20% decrease in the market for consumer electronics in years, contributing to the elimination of the full year dividend as it looks to focus its resources on the turnaround. Benefits for the group was £ 90.2m in the year to February 25 compares to £ 426m in the financial year 2008. Argos dropped to £ 94.2m from £ 376.2m during the same period. The result has fueled speculation about whether the Home Stores plan set aside any assets over 748 shops Argos and Homebase 341 outlets. The chain is carried consultant OC & C to help the new Managing Director John Walden assessed the Argos business, but insisted that the closing area of ​​the store is not planned, considering there are only seven losing Argos store. Philip Dorgan, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said Home Stores needs "more radical if it is to survive in the world of online" and Argos would require a "significant store closure program."

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