Primark revenues surge 19%

Paula Dumont Lopez

Primark has bucked the rising trend of British retailers being adversely impacted by the economic downturn since the Brexit vote, as a weakened pound and store expansion allowed it to record uptick in full-year revenues and profit.

Revenues at the the discount fashion retailer surged by 19 per cent to £7.05 billion in its fiscal year ending September 16, or 12 per cent at constant currency.

Operating profit also increased by seven per cent year-on-year, or three per cent at constant currency, from £689 million to £735 million.

Meanwhile, operating profit margin declined from 11.6 per cent to 10.4 per cent year-on-year, reflecting the strength of the US dollar on input costs.

Primark said its UK market was a star performer, recording a 10 per cent leap in like-for-like sales.

The retailer opened a net 30 new stores around the world during the year – 11 of which are in the UK – but out of its top 20 stores by sales density, 15 are now in mainland Europe including seven its newer markets of France and Italy.

Primarks full-year results brought a boost for its parent company, Associated British Foods (AB Foods), which posted a 22 per cent leap in annual operating profit to £1.36 billion.

The company, which also owns a food arm and sugar business, also raked in £1.31 billion in underlying pre-tax profits, a surge of 22 per cent.

AB Foods chief executive George Weston expressed concern over the risk of “abrupt changes” to customs procedures once Brexit comes into effect.

However, he added that Brexit changes could also help cut imports, boost UK-sourced goods and build a better British export market.

“We therefore welcome the government’s intention to have a transition period beyond March 2019 in which to implement the necessary systems and processes,” he said.

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