Strong Primark sales boost AB Foods
Primark has increased half-yearly sales by 15% since last year, boosting retail profits for Associated British Foods, which owns the budget fashion chain.
Operating profits for Primark were £322m in the six months to February, up from £298m in the same period last year.
AB Foods credited a strong Christmas trading period for Primark.
But the group’s profits before tax were down 51% to £213m, because of losses in its sugar and biofuel businesses.
AB Foods’ chief executive, George Weston, said: “This is a sound trading result with significant progress made in operating profit by Primark.
“As expected, profitability at AB Sugar was substantially lower as a result of much weaker EU sugar prices.
“Primark’s performance was driven by significant expansion of selling space and superior trading by the stores opened in the last 12 months and plans for its entry into the north-east of the US are well advanced.”