GEOFF PERCIVAL: Irish stores boost sales at Primark

Discount clothing retailer Primark has reported first quarter sales growth of 11%, on a constant currency basis, with “strongly positive” like-for-like sales seen in Ireland, where the company trades as Penneys.

The sales cover the 16 weeks to January 7; effectively the first quarter of parent company Associated British Foods’ financial year. 

In November, ABF’s annual results — for the 12 months to September 17 — showed a 1% profit rise and a 9% jump in revenues, to £5.95bn, for Primark, with the retailer saying Penneys had shown strong sales growth throughout the year.

The company opened one new Irish store last year, at Liffey Valley in Dublin, but although management is planning another 1.3 million sq ft of new store space to open this year, no further store openings are planned for Ireland. 

It is believed much of Primark’s upcoming store expansion will take place in the US, where it currently has six stores on the east coast.

Increased retail selling space was a major factor in Primark’s strong sales showing for the quarter.

The retailer performed well in the UK and said its US business “continued to develop” but said progress was slower on mainland Europe, particularly in Germany and the Netherlands.

On a group-wide basis, ABF yesterday reported 10% revenue growth for the first quarter, when measured on a constant currency basis, while sales were up 22% at actual exchange rates.


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