HOMEBASE profits rose by £19 million, or 66%, to £48.9 million after total sales increased by 4.4%, following strong growth in seasonally-related categories in the spring quarter.
There was also a strong performance in big ticket categories, particularly kitchens after the collapse of competitors such as MFI.
The impact of new store space added 1.6% to sales growth.
Margins were lower as a result of increased promotional activity over the winter and the impact of adverse currency movements, which have increased the cost of imported goods.
Homebase reduced operating and distribution costs by around £30 million in an effort to offset the currency impact.
While Investec Securities said today’s figures were in line with expectations, it added that the full-year result hinged on the resilience of Argos’s Christmas trading performance against weak prior year comparatives.
It has retained its full-year profits forecast at £257 million.