Home improvement retailer Homebase increased its sales by 7.5 per cent in the first four months since being acquired by Wesfarmers.
The Australian retail conglomerate bought the British chain in February for £340 million and have since invested £60 million into what it described as Hombase’s “poor and confusing offer”.
“The offer is now very firmly focused on the home improvement and garden market,” said John Gillam, head of Wesfarmers subsidiary Bunnings.
Wesfarmers have made plans to convert Homebase stores to Bunnings – the successful Australian home improvement retail chain – with four to six pilot stores set to open across the UK by the end of next June and more to come should they be financially successful.
Nearly 20 per cent of the original senior staff of Homebase have been cut by its Australian owners and replaced with senior members of Bunnings.
Veteran Bunnings member Peter Davis was brought in to head the new investment, and former Asda boss Archie Norman has been appointed to three boards to guide Bunnings in the UK.
Despite strong figures from Bunnings, Wesfarmers posted an 83 per cent decline in profits across its sectors as its Australian retailer Target and its coal business posted losses.