Discount clothing retailer Primark — which trades in Ireland as Penneys — has said that the relocation of its sourcing, buying, and merchandising functions from the UK to its Dublin headquarters will play a significant supporting role in its continuing international expansion.
The move — which the company denied was connected to any Brexit contingency planning processes — was announced last March.
The retailer — which is owned by diversified group Associated British Foods (ABF) — is, however, unlikely to grow its shop numbers here, where it has 37 outlets. That said, it has expressed satisfaction with trading performance in Ireland and will overhaul four of its Irish stores in the coming 12 months.
As part of ABF’s annual results, Primark reported a 4% rise in revenues, for the 12 months to mid-September, to £7.8bn (€9bn). It performed well in the UK and the US and saw a near 5% growth rate in revenues in the eurozone. Primark’s overall adjusted operating profit rose 8% to £913m.
Regarding the Irish operations, ABF chief executive George Weston said: “We are pleased with the trading of Penneys in Ireland this year, which marks a half-century since Arthur Ryan opened our first store in Dublin. We intend to refurbish four of the stores in 2020 to enhance the shopping experience for our customers.”
On a group-wide basis, ABF — which also has ingredients, sugar and grocery arms — said annual group revenue rose 2% to £15.8bn.