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Primark profits up 15%

Budget clothing retailer Primark has continued to shrug off economic difficulties in Europe by recording a 15% increase in profits in the year to 15 September.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Primark profits up 15%

Budget clothing retailer Primark has continued to shrug off economic difficulties in Europe by recording a 15% increase in profits in the year to 15 September.

The retailer grew its operating profit to £356 million in the year while achieving a 15% increase in revenue to £3.5 billion.

Primark’s owner, Associated British Foods, said
the uplift was driven by an increase in retail selling space and like-for-like sales growth of 3% for the full year. UK trading was particularly strong during the summer and sales in continental Europe remained buoyant.

The retailer opened 19 new stores in the year and added 0.9 million sq ft of selling space bringing the total to 242 stores and 8.2 million sq ft.  Three new stores were opened in the UK, 11 in Iberia and five in northern continental Europe.  Highlights of the year included a major expansion in Iberia, particularly Spain, the opening of a flagship store on Princes Street in Edinburgh and four large stores in Germany.

The business currently employs more than 43,000 people, after creating 10,000 new jobs in the year.

Associated British Foods, which also owns British Sugar, said operating profits reached the £1 billion mark for the first time, rising 17% to £1.08 billion. Group's revenue increased by 11% to £12.3 billion.

George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods, said: "These are very good results for the group and include exceptional performances from AB Sugar and Primark.  Global economic uncertainty remains but we have opportunities for further investment and the strength of the group balance sheet and a strong cash flow will enable us to pursue them with confidence."


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