Primark reports strong first-half showing

PRIMARK – the Irish-founded clothing retailer, which trades under the Penneys name here – has reported a strong first half performance and is planning to include Ireland on its store expansion drive in the second half of the year.

The company, which is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), saw sales rise by 17% on a year-on-year basis in the first six months of this year. Primark trades across Britain, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium. Of its 198 stores, 38 are located in Ireland, under the Penneys name.

In the last few weeks, Primark has opened two new stores – one in Britain and one in Spain – and is planning to open another five by the end of 2010. At least one of these will be located in Ireland, with an opening in Killarney on the agenda in the coming months.

In its latest trading statement, issued yesterday, ABF said group-wide trading since the halfway mark “remains on track to deliver very good progress in earnings for the full-year”.

Regarding the retail division, most growth has been seen outside of Ireland and Britain: “Primark is having an excellent year, with particularly strong trading in Spain and very encouraging progress made in its other continental European stores.

“Sales since the half year were 15% ahead, with a weakening of the euro in the quarter having an adverse effect on non-UK revenues when translated into sterling,” it added.


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