Discount fashion chain Primark has grown profits by another 29% after a “magnificent” year in which its sales jumped to almost £5bn.
The annual profits haul of £662m comes a day before struggling rival Marks & Spencer is expected to report lower half-year profits.
Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, said the retailer’s sales rose 16% to £4.95bn after it opened new stores across Europe and lifted sales at stores open for more than a year by 4%.
It has built an estate of 278 stores and has more than 10m sq ft of space in locations across Europe, including 164 shops in the UK. The chain is also rolling out plans to open stores in the north-east of the United States.
Overall, adjusted pre-tax profits at AB Foods – the FTSE 100-listed conglomerate which owns Ryvita and Ovaltine – lifted 2% to £1.1bn as lower prices at its sugar division were offset by growth in its grocery, agriculture and ingredients units.
The group said Primark’s trading was excellent, with strong autumn/winter and spring/summer ranges and a successful launch in France last December.
Chief executive George Weston said: “Primark’s trading success and significant expansion delivered another magnificent year.”