Jan 18, 2018

Primark bags ‘record’ Christmas sales for ABF

The Primark fast-fashion chain made "Record sales" the week before Christmas but for owner Associated British Foods the news was soured by its expectation that profits in the recently recovered sugar business would be worse than expected this year. The conglomerate, controlled by the Weston family, said in Thursday's trading statement that Primark sales rose 9 per cent in the 16 weeks to 6 January - 7 per cent at constant exchange rates - compared with the same period last year. Despite "Good trading" in the five weeks before Christmas, warm October weather had held back Primark's sales growth in Europe, it added. Primark makes half its sales in the UK, where a string of clothing chains have reported sluggish trading over the Christmas period, including Marks and Spencer and department stores Debenhams and House of Fraser. Primark's operating profit margin in the first half would now recover towards last year's 10 per cent, ABF said.

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