Primark half year sales to be over 60% ahead of last year
Primark owner Associated British Foods has said the fashion retailer’s half year sales are expected to be well over 60% ahead of last year as it benefits from the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
In a pre-close update on trading covering the 24 weeks to 5 March, ABF said like-for-like sales have improved compared to the final quarter of the previous financial year and for the first half are expected to be 11% lower than pre-Covid levels in the same period two years ago. It said customer footfall is picking up again in most markets, particularly the UK and Ireland, after the disruption caused by the rapid rise in Omicron infections. It also revealed that all stores have remained open and trading throughout the period, except for short periods in Austria and The Netherlands.
While sales in UK stores are well ahead of last year, like-for-likes are expected to be 9% below two years ago. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales in Europe are expected to be 14% below pre-pandemic levels due to the continued impact of Omicron on customer footfall.
In the UK, stores in retail parks and town centres continue to outperform destination city centre stores with like-for-like sales in retail parks ahead of pre-Covid-19 levels.
ABF said customers have responded well to its spring/summer collections and that the luggage and swimwear categories have performed particularly well. The retailer’s new collaboration with Greggs in the UK has also been popular, particularly with younger customers.
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