Primark boosts profits for Associated British Foods
Primark owner Associated British Foods has reported that sales at the discount fashion chain rose by 13% at constant currency in the 40 weeks to 24 June as the retailer benefited from increased selling space and growth in like-for-like sales.
At actual exchange rates sales continued to be helped by sterling weakness and were 21% ahead of the same period last year.
In a statement, the group said third quarter trading at Primark was particularly strong in the lead-up to Easter. As a result, like-for-like sales in the period were better than the first half of the year. Primark performed particularly well in the UK where sales in the 40-week period were 9% ahead of last year.
Primark’s retail selling space has increased by 1.3 million square feet since the beginning of the financial year and at 24 June, 339 stores were trading from 13.6 million square feet of retail selling space.
Ten new stores were opened in the retailer’s third quarter including Uxbridge and Llandudno in the UK, Granada and Tarragona in Spain, Charleroi in Belgium, Zwolle and Hilversum in the Netherlands, Florence in Italy and Staten Island, New York and South Shore, Massachusetts in the US. Primark also extended its US Downtown Crossing store in Boston.
Across the wider Associated British Foods group, which includes sugar, grocery, and agriculture and ingredients businesses, revenue from continuing businesses for the 40 weeks ended 24 June was 10% ahead of the same period last year at constant currency and 20% ahead at actual exchange rates.
The group said: “The underlying operating performance of the group during the third quarter was ahead of our forecast as a result of a stronger profit delivery from Primark which has marginally improved our group outlook for the full year. We continue to expect to report good growth in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the group.”
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