Primark performs well in third quarter
Primark increased its third quarter like-for-like sales by 3% compared to the corresponding period two years ago when sales were at pre-Covid-19 levels.
In a trading statement, Primark owner Associated British Foods said stores in the UK, Republic of Ireland, France and Italy all delivered very strong sales increases. The retailer’s revenue reached £1.6 billion in the period, which was well ahead of last year’s third quarter sales of £0.6 billion.
The company said the performance in stores after the latest easing of lockdown restrictions was significantly better than after re-openings earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic due to higher customer footfall. Primark also benefited from an increase in basket sizes and a lower level of markdown.
ABF added: “The relevance and appeal of our value-for-money offering has been evidenced by the number of customers that have returned to shop in person in our stores, across every one of our markets, each time we have reopened post-lockdown. This reopening has also seen a resurgence in demand for fashion across womenswear and menswear, as customers start to step out of lockdown leisurewear.”
Primark is now trading from 396 stores with 16.8 million square feet of retail selling space. This compares to 16 million square feet a year ago. The retailer added seven new stores to its portfolio in the third quarter with locations including Chicago in the US, Poznan in Poland, Tamworth in the UK, Bilbao Gran Via in Spain, Rome Est in Italy, Prague in Czechia, and Rotterdam Forum in the Netherlands.
Looking ahead, ABF said: “With all Primark stores trading again, and in the light of the additional sales generated since stores reopening and the encouraging like-for-like performance, we now expect Primark profit for the full year, stated before repayment of job retention scheme monies, to be broadly in line with that achieved last year.”
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