i

Laundry business boosts Photo-Me

‘Summer sun, not David Cameron’ shone for Homebase and Argos, owner

Britain's recent heatweave is to thank for soaring sales at Hombase and Argos, the group's chief executive said today.

Shake-up in store: Home Retail chief steps down

The boss of Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group today stood down after 15 years at the company.

Tablets and TVs prompt Argos sales growth

Catalogue retailer Argos today posted its fourth consecutive quarter of sales growth, driven  by buoyant demand for tablets and televisions.

Home Retail boss Terry Duddy pockets £1.56m despite profits slide

The chief executive of Home Retail enjoyed a sharp rise in his total pay last year, despite the company behind the Argos and Homebase chains suffering a fall in profits.

Grill it: 7 Best barbecues

Whether you're cooking on gas or are a convert to charcoal we've got the perfect way to cook when the sun is out

Home Retail is hobbled by blow from soggy summer

Home Retail chief executive Terry Duddy has blamed last year’s spring and summer washout for annual profits more than halving at its DIY chain Homebase.

The Week Ahead: Greene King tipped to shake off snow

The big pub fight between landlords and their tenants saw Vince Cable wading in last week. The Business Secretary revealed rules to prevent giant pub companies from abusing their power over their tenants. Greene King is one of the pub groups covered by the new code. But today's interest will be in how well Greene King is performing rather than on its relationship with tenants. Douglas Jack at Numis expects the full year to see brewing profits fall 14 per cent, in line with the half-year results. After the trading statement today Mr Jack predicts he will hold his forecasts, which he thinks is a "positive result under the circumstances" of "snow in January and cold weather in February and March". He rates the shares an add with a 710p price target.

Market Report: Chill winds blow through retail sector

The already shaky high street was dealt a fresh blow yesterday as UBS downgraded the entire European retail sector in a note titled "Running out of steam". Analysts said that while the markets are rallying, it means it's harder for retailers to outperform.

Investment View: Mothercare is being nurtured back to health

Is Simon Calver's TLC going to help Mothercare to grow up into something better than the truculent child it has been for the last few years? I'm beginning to think that there's a chance. I was critical of Mr Calver's appointment: An internet guy for a flailing mother-and-baby chain with a big bricks and mortar estate (he made his name at LoveFilm). Hardly the obvious choice. That's not least because many of the chain's recent failures seemed to stem in part from the company failing to recognise what its customer base wanted and needed from those shops (you'd know if you'd ever tried to push a pram around the tightly packed shelves).

Police probe North Norfolk Council leader and wife shotgun death

Detectives are investigating the personal lives of a council leader and his wife found shot dead outside their home.

Market Report: Approach doubts hit Chemring price

Traders were in a defensive mood yesterday as volumes hovered around annual August lows and defence stocks found themselves in focus. Chemring, the military equipment maker, was the FTSE 250's biggest faller, down 40.8p to 373.9p, as doubt emerged about Carlyle's approach coming to fruition. The US private-equity firm admitted its interest in Chemring last Friday but scribes at UBS reiterated that it is still "highly preliminary".

<p>{1} Jamie Oliver</p>
<p>£329, homebase.co.uk</p>
<p>A four-burner gas number that uses lava rocks to ensure that great barbecued taste. Nifty features include a roasting hood, built-in thermometer and snap-in side trays.</p>

The 10 Best barbecues

The perfect way to cook when the sun's out

Argos drives up Home Retail Group's shares by 15%

A vastly improved performance at the catalogue chain Argos in its first quarter drove a sharp spike in Home Retail Group's shares yesterday to cheer its beleaguered investors.

<p>1. Bosch Rotak Ergoflex 40</p>
<p>£169.99, homebase.co.uk</p>
<p>A good choice for small to medium lawns. Its rear roller leaves a nice stripe and it performs well right up to the lawn edge.</p>

The 10 Best lawn mowers

From petrol-fuelled to self-propelled

HRG stops divi but keeps argos open

Home Retail Group, the owner of the Argos and Homebase chains, has ditched its final dividend for the first time in six years, after a slump in profits and sales at the general merchandise giant.

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