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Primark expects 17% full-year sales rise

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Fast fashion retailer Primark expects a 17 per cent rise in sales for its full financial year as it continues to increase its selling space, it has been announced today.

In full-year results released today, parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) said that it has adjusted operating profit for the second half which will be “substantially ahead of last year and in line with expectations”.

For the 52 weeks ending September 15th 2012, Primark’s like-for-like sales are expected to increase three per cent as UK sales remained solid with European operations also proving fruitful.

In the second half to date, the group has opened seven new stores and expects to have opened a total of 19 new stores over the period, bringing the total to 242.

Later this month, the high street retailer is set to open its second store on London’s Oxford Street, housing 80,000 sq ft of space over four floors, which comes just weeks after it announced plans for a Milton Keynes flagship.

A statement from ABF said: “Trading this summer in the UK was particularly strong and sales in continental Europe remained buoyant.

“Trading in newly opened stores exceeded expectations and the opening of the new store in Berlin in July saw our most successful first day’s sales ever. Early sales of the autumn/winter range have been encouraging.

“Operating margins in the first half were lower than last year reflecting the absorption of high cotton costs which we chose not to pass on to customers.

“Margins in the second half increased, following the fall in cotton prices, and we therefore expect margin for the full year to be close to last year’s levels.”

Across its grocery operations, ABF’s revenues for the full year are set to be ahead of last year, although the group warned that adjusted operation profit will be down as a result of restructuring costs at George Weston Foods in Australia and Allied Bakeries in the UK, which saw an “intensively competitive” market reduce margins.

Published on Monday 10 September by Editorial Assistant

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