Sales at Primark grow strongly

SALES and profit at Primark, which trades as Penny’s in Ireland, will be well ahead of last year.

The discount retailer’s parent firm, Associated British Foods (ABF), expects to have opened six new stores in the second half of the year, two in Spain, one each in Germany and Portugal and two in Britain, bringing the total number of stores to 191.

The company expects like-for-like sales growth of 7% at Primark for the full year driven by a very strong performance in Britain.

ABF finance director John Bason said sales at Primark stores that were open at least a year rose 9% over the past six months, in contrast to declines reported recently by mid-market rivals such as Marks and Spencer and Next.

It said this performance was achieved through Primark’s “strong competitive position and better weather than last year”.

“Our stores in continental Europe have performed well, although it is early days for Germany and Portugal,” a statement said. “Operating profit margin is expected to be lower than last year,” the company said.

On a group basis, ABF said trading since mid-year has been “strong”, resulting in an increase in adjusted operating profit in the second half from the same period a year earlier.

Analyst Graham Jones said: “There’s substantial profits growth in the sugar division and Primark’s like-for-like sales were excellent.”


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