Primark sales on track for 16% rise y-o-y
Sales at Primark are set to come in 16 per cent higher than last year according to a pre close period trading update from parent company Associated British Foods plc.
ABF said on Monday morning that sales at the fast fashion retailer were expected to rise thanks to an 11 per cent increase in retail selling space and high sales densities in stores open less than a year.
On the back of a weakening euro against the sterling, total Primark sales are expected to be 12 per cent ahead of the same period last year at actual exchange rates.
ABF told investors this morning: “All five of our French stores opened over the last year have traded exceptionally well. Sales for the group in the last three months, including the important Christmas period, were strong and cumulative like-for-like sales have improved since the January trading update and are now level with last year.”
Total first half like-for-like sales growth for ABF’s retail arm were held back by unseasonably warm weather in the autumn across northern Europe, impacting both existing stores and new store openings in the Netherlands and Germany, however total sales in northern continental Europe were “well ahead” of last year.
Looking ahead, ABF said it was planning to continue investment into expanding warehouse capacity in Europe, with plans to open a new warehouse in the autumn in Bor, on the western border of the Czech Republic, for stores in Austria and Germany.In the States, ABF said it had signed eight leases for stores in the north east, including seven from Sears. Six store locations have also now been announced including Downtown Crossing in Boston and five in shopping malls.
Speaking in light of the update across the entire group, ABF stated: “Primark has performed well and its expansion is continuing, Grocery is expected to deliver a first half operating profit in line with last year, and Ingredients and Agriculture have made excellent progress in operating profit building on their very positive performances last year. As previously indicated, profitability at AB Sugar will be substantially lower.”