// Primark posts higher revenues for the past 16 weeks on the back of new stores as UK like-for-likes dips marginally lower
// It saw UK sales grow by 4% as it benefited from new stores and expansions while total Primark sales were up 3%
// Parent company AB Foods saw group revenues rise 4% over the 16-week period to January 4
Primark’s Christmas trading has given parent company AB Foods a boost after it reported higher revenues due to new store openings, although UK like-for-likes dipped marginally lower.
The value fashion retailer’s growth helped drive revenues up at AB Foods, which saw overall group revenues rise four per cent over the 16-week period to January 4.
Primark saw its UK sales grow by four per cent as it benefited from new stores and expansions, while sales across the retailer were up three per cent.
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The company hailed “good trading” over November and December, despite highlighting a “marginal decline” in like-for-like sales.
Meanwhile, AB Foods said Primark saw sales in its Eurozone business jump 5.1 per cent higher on the back of “strong progress in France and Italy”, and highlighted “like-for-like sales growth” for the retailer’s US stores.
Primark’s overall global sales were 4.5 per cent ahead of last year at constant currency, or and three per cent ahead at actual exchange rates.
The retailer said it heavily benefited from three store openings during the period, as well as site expansions.
It said it expected to open 18 new stores during the financial year as it continues its expansion programme.
Elsewhere, AB Foods was bolstered by its strengthening sugar business, which saw revenues increase five per cent after EU sugar prices remained higher than over the same period last year.
It said lower costs in sugar production also mean that there will be a material improvement in profits from the sugar arm, particularly in the second half.
AB Foods said sales in its grocery arm were level against the same period last year, although profit margins improved.
Increased popularity of herbal teas in the UK and US helped to improve revenues at its Twinings division, while efficiencies in the tea supply chain also helped to improve profits.
AB Foods said operating losses at its troubled Allied Bakeries business, which makes Kingsmill bread, were reduced after “progress from cost reduction” more than offset lower sales.
with PA Wires