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Argos sales were down in the first three months of the yearFlickr/ CC

Home Retail, the UK's biggest household goods retailer, reported a 3.9% fall in Argos sales over the three months to the end of March 2015.

The owner of iconic catalogue retailer Argos and DIY shop Homebase reported a slow start to the financial year.

The company said the results were in line with expectations as they had foreseen that sales would be impacted by market decline in vital electrical and seasonal product categories.

Home Retail reported a 5.4% rise in Homebase sales, with combined sales of the two daughter companies rising 1.6% to £1,3bn ($2bn, €1,8bn) overall.

Mobile sales now account for a quarter of all sales and the proportion of sales via the internet as a whole went up as well. Home Retail also reported its plans to improve gross margins had worked out well because of favourable circumstances such as currency movements and low shipping costs.

CEO John Walden said in a press release that Homebase sales had started to pick up again but he expected a slight delay in growth for the company's Argos division.

"We continue to expect that sales will be challenging during the first half at Argos, but we look forward to a stronger second half as we progress the Transformation Plan and introduce new propositions more broadly to the market."