Primark trading ‘ahead of expectations’

The chairman of Associated British Foods’ (ABF), which owns Primark, has revealed that trading year to date at the budget retailer has been ahead of expectations this year.

At the company’s annual general meeting, Michael McLinktock said that Primark experienced improved like-for-like sales compared to the final quarter of the last financial year.

“We are managing disruption in our supply chain by prioritising products most in demand with the support of our logistics providers for whom we are a very important customer,” said the ABF chairman. “We have stock cover on the vast majority of lines for the important Christmas trading period.

“The incidence of COVID-19 cases is increasing and the public health measures taken to date in our markets are mainly restrictions in trading hours in the Netherlands, the requirement for vaccine passes in Germany and the closure of our five stores in Austria.”

He also said that Primark’s margin year to date has been ahead of expectations, with the company expecting sales to be significantly better than during the period of December 2020 to April 2021, when the estate was largely closed.

“Since the year end we have opened two new stores, one in Vigo, Spain, and one in Catania, Italy, bringing our total estate to a milestone of 400 stores, trading from 17.0 million sq ft,” concluded McLinktock. “Taking these factors into account, we continue to expect significant progress, at both the half and full year, in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the Group."

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