Primark weathers the storm with “remarkable” 4% rise in profit


Primark’s parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) on Tuesday posted a three per cent growth in revenue for the first half year.

Despite unseasonable weather in its crucial markets in Europe, Primark achieved a four per cent increase in profit.

Sales were seven per cent ahead of the same period last year at constant currency, thanks to increased retail selling space, and eight per cent ahead at actual exchange rates.

Despite the gains, like-for-like sales for the group declined 1.5 per cent for the 24 weeks, a result ABF attributed to an unseasonably warm October, followed by freezing temperatures across Northern Europe in the final week of its half year results.

The fast fashion retailer said its UK performance was “remarkable in the circumstances”, as it reported that the business continued to make gains in its share of the clothing market.

Looking ahead to the next half, ABF said it expected its Primark business to continue to grow as it expanded its retail selling space, and margins improved thanks to the strengthening of sterling against the US dollar.

Primark also revealed plans to open new stores in Westfield and Burnley, as well as seven more internationally during the second half of its financial year.

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