Primark like-for-like sales set to rise 2%
Associated British Foods, the owner of fashion chain Primark, has said that its half year results due on 24 April will be in line with expectations with all areas of the business delivering revenue growth.
The group said that trading at Primark was slow at the start of the financial year due to the unusually warm autumn but, with particularly strong sales over the Christmas period and good trading since the New Year first half revenue is expected to be 15% ahead of last year. Like-for-like sales are set to increase by 2%.
Operating margin will be lower than in the same period last year reflecting the retailer’s continued absorption of higher cotton costs.
Primark continued its store expansion programme in the period and opened nine new stores. These included two in Spain, three in Germany, one each in Portugal and the Netherlands, and two in the UK including a flagship store in Edinburgh. At the half year the fashion chain will be operating from 232 stores with 7.8 million sq ft of selling space, representing an increase of 0.5 million sq ft since the financial year end.
AB Foods said profits from sugar are expected to be substantially ahead of last year, driven by a strong rise in the UK, improvements in Spain and a better performance for Illovo in Africa. All were helped by higher sugar prices.
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