Primark records growth but warns sterling fall could hit margins


The parent company of Primark has hailed its latest financial year as one of progress with an uptick in sales and profits.

Associated British Foods (ABF) – which also owns British Sugar and other grocery, food ingredients and agriculture businesses – recorded revenue of £13.4 billion for the 53 weeks to September 17, a five per cent increase from the previous financial year.

Adjusted profit before tax also went up by five per cent to £1.071 billion for the latest full-year period.

“This has been a year of progress for all of our businesses with a substantial expansion in Primark’s selling space, increased margins in all of the food businesses and fundamental structural changes at AB Sugar,” ABF chief executive George Weston said.

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“The recent decline in the value of sterling presents both benefits and challenges to the group. 

“The diversity of our operations and our broad geographical footprint, combined with a strong balance sheet, equip us well to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise.”

The company added that Primark‘s growth is expected to continue in all its major markets, and believes earnings are expected to benefit from the translation of overseas profits following the devaluation of sterling in the wake of the Brexit vote.

However, ABF warned that the UK margins of Primark could suffer as a result of Brexit.

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