Primark raises profit guidance after jump in sales

Primark-owner Associated British Foods (AB Foods) has raised the outlook for the budget clothing retailer after a jump in sales across the first half of the year to 4 March.

The company said it expected total sales of £4.2 billion, 16 per cent ahead of the same period last year. As a result, operating profit is expected to be above eight per cent.

AB Foods said that footfall has increased in stores across Europe and Britain, with sales in the UK rising by 14 per cent.

AB foods said that that it continues to see “significant” cost pressures and has cautioned that the cost-of-living crisis may have a knock-on effect in the second half of the year.

In the US, Primark expects sales to grow by 12 per cent compared to the same time period last year. The company said that consumer spending had been bolstered by Covid-related support from the US government designed to stimulate the economy.

Primark plans to open 13 new stores over the next six months, including its first in Romania, three in the US, three in France and one in Northern Ireland.

In a statement, AB Foods said: “Trading at Primark has been good in all its markets, well ahead of expectations, and represents a material improvement in both the UK and Europe on the second half of our last financial year.

“We believe our proposition of great quality at affordable prices and attractive store experience is proving increasingly appealing to both existing and new customers. Early reaction to our spring and summer ranges has been very positive.”

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