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Home improvement chain Homebase grew like-for-like sales by 5.6 per cent in the half to end August with furniture and kitchens key growth drivers.


The Home Retail Group owned retail chain said big-ticket showroom goods sold in strong numbers, though total revenue was impacted by its continuing store right-sizing programme.


Its previously announced plan to close stores saw a further 25 shut in the first half of its financial year, meaning it ended the period with 271 stores. Half year total sales were down 2.2 per cent to £816.4m.


Though total store numbers are declining, it is allocating more space to furniture and home brands such as Habitat, whose concession numbers within Homebase stores increased by 33 to 68 by the end of August.


Sales of Habitat products increased by over 30 per cent year-on-year, Homebase said.