Primark revenue up 22%, profits soar 44%

Dublin-headquartered discount retailer Primark, which trades here as Penneys, has reported a 22% year-on-year surge in annual revenue, to just under £4.3bn (€5.1bn), a performance described as “remarkable and outstanding” by its British parent.

Primark’s revenue was aided by an increase in the company’s selling space — an additional 800,000 sq ft opening across its international network during the 52 weeks to the end of September — the recent strengthening of the euro, like-for-like sales growth of 5% and “superior sales densities in the larger new stores”.

Adjusted operating profit, for the company — the retail arm of diversified multinational, Associated British Foods — came in at £514m; a full 44% up on the previous 12 months.

The performance helped boost ABF’s group revenue by 9% (to £13.3bn) and operating profits by 10%; and while group chief executive, George Weston noted record profits at ABF’s agriculture division and a much improved performance from its grocery arm, he noted “a remarkable year for Primark”.

Primark will add another 13 stores in time for Christmas and add another million square feet of selling space in the coming year — but most of this expansion will take place in Britain and mainland Europe.

Noting last April’s Primark factory collapse in Bangladesh — which resulted in the deaths of 1,129 people, and to which Primark recently said it would increase compensation payments — ABF chairman, Charles Sinclair reiterated that management remains committed to “the highest ethical standards” across all of its units.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer reported a 9% year-on-year fall in first half profits, the third consecutive year in which it has posted an interim decline. The figures also included a ninth consecutive quarterly fall in underlying general merchandise sales.


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