ABF benefits from strong Primark performance
The increase has been driven by a rise in retail selling space and 1% growth in like-for-like sales. On the same comparable basis but at actual exchange rates, sales are expected to be 20% ahead.
ABF said Primark has performed particularly well in the UK where full year sales are expected to be 10% ahead of last year on a comparable basis. Third quarter trading in the UK was particularly strong in the lead up to Easter as the retailer benefited from comparison with prior year results that were affected by poor weather and an earlier Easter holiday.
The retailer also had fewer markdowns than usual in the fourth quarter as it was helped by “favourable” weather. The company said early trading of the new autumn/winter range has been encouraging.
ABF said it is continuing to finetune its ranges in the US and has opened three stores in the country during the year. It also extended the Downtown Crossing store in Boston by 20%. Its ninth US store is scheduled to open next year in Brooklyn, New York.
In a statement the company said: “In our third quarter trading update on 6 July we reported an improvement in our expectation for the group's full year underlying operating performance as a result of a stronger profit delivery from Primark. Since that time, we have experienced an even lower level of markdown which has further improved our full year outlook. Adjusted operating profit for the group will be well ahead of last year.”
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