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Homebase back into profit post-Bunnings

Homebase has returned to profit having generated a 2.6 per cent rise in its like-for-like sales for the year ended 29 December on which it has posted a £3.2 million pre-tax profit as opposed to the £114.5 million loss it incurred in 2018. The business said that almost all of its stores are now profitable following a series of cost management measures as well as extensive store refurbishments in 51 locations to accommodate Bathstore concessions, new kitchen showrooms and home furnishing departments. Investment was also made in the Homebase website and this has resulted in a 50 per cent rise in online sales. Hilco acquired Homebase from Australian group Bunnings for £1 in June 2018 following a disastrous period in which the Australian firm had attempted to model the offering into one far better suited for its home market, and had dispensed with many of the senior Homebase team members. Hilco had also backed Homebase's acquisition of Bathstore last June. The strong progress made by the revived business means that Homebase will be in a position to complete its CVA at least 18 months earlier than planned.

"Eighteen months into our turnaround, we're extremely proud of what our team has achieved, working hard with our partners to return to profit and lay solid foundations for growth," commented Homebase CEO Damian McGloughlin. "We've a very clear vision for Homebase, and we're excited about the plans we have for the future. We will continue to invest in our ranges, services and team members as we make Homebase the go to place for the inspiration, expertise and products customers need to take their ideas and create homes they love."

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