Primark first half sales to be up 4% on last year
Primark owner Associated British Foods has said that first half sales at the discount fashion chain are expected to be 4% ahead of the same period last year.
The uplift was driven by increased selling space, although like-for-like sales have been down 2% in the 24-week period which ends on 2 March.
In addition, the company said that pre-tax profit will come in “well ahead” of last year due to the achievement of higher margins.
Sales in the UK have been 2% ahead of last year with cumulative like-for-like sales improving since ABF’s January trading update. This means UK like-for-likes are expected to be level with last year in the first half.
Sales in the Eurozone are likely to be 5% ahead year-on-year following particularly strong sales growth in Spain, France, Italy and Belgium, although overall like-for-likes in the region will show a decline of 3%. The company said trading in Germany is continuing to be difficult which has led the company to take the decision to reduce selling space at a small number of German stores.
Primark’s US business has put in a good performance driven by strong trading at its recently opened Brooklyn store.
Four new stores were launched in the period in Seville and Almeria in Spain, Toulouse in France and Berlin in Germany. In the UK Primark relocated to larger premises in Harrow and extended its Merry Hill store.
In addition, Primark is planning to open new UK stores in Hastings, Bluewater, Belfast and Milton Keynes in the current financial year. New shops will also launch in Bordeaux, Brussels, Wuppertal and Utrecht.
Primark is also entering Slovenia for the first time by opening a store in Ljubljana. It has also signed leases for its first stores in Poland and the Czech Republic.
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