Primark sales “exceptionally strong” in first half

Fast fashion retailer Primark has seen like-for-like sales grow seven per cent in its first half due to weak comparatives while trade remained “exceptionally strong” over the period, results released today reveal.

In a trading update, the retailer‘s owner Associated British Foods (ABF) said that it expected sales to rise 23 per cent while operating profit margin was “much higher” than the same period last year.

Expanding its store portfolio has been a strong focus for the retailer in recent months and retail selling space increased by 0.7 million sq ft since the end of the last financial year and Primark is set to operate from a total of 257 stores by March 2nd 2013.

Over the half period, the retailer opened 15 new stores, six in Spain and four across the UK, including its second store on London‘s Oxford Street.

Primark also debuted in Austria with two stores and opened an additional store in the Netherlands as well as completing a refurbishment of its Dublin flagship.

However, store openings will be curtailed until the next financial year when extensions of Primark‘s Newcastle and Manchester stores are expected to be completed.

A statement from ABF said: “The interim results for the group will be ahead of our expectations at the start of the year.

“Adjusted operating profit will be higher than last year driven by an outstanding performance from Primark.

“Our expectation for the full year is unchanged and earnings growth for the full year will therefore be heavily weighted towards the first half.”


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