Jan 17, 2019

Primark defies wider retail gloom with strong Christmas

UK fast-fashion retailer Primark was buoyed by strong trading over the holiday season, defying the general gloom in the sector to post record sales. Primark's owner Associated British Foods reported on Thursday that UK sales at the retailer had "Exceeded our expectations" over the Christmas period, bucking the trend of disappointing results reported by many competitors. "I think Christmas and the run-up to Christmas was under testing conditions for retailers. But these numbers show Primark was a winner," John Bason, finance director at ABF, told the Financial Times. Overall revenue at Primark was up 4 per cent during the period as the chain continued to expand in Europe and the US. It increased its retail selling space by 0.3m square feet between September and January to 364 stores and 15.1m sq ft of selling space compared with 14.2m sq ft a year previously. Primark accounts for roughly 60 per cent of operating profit at ABF, whose businesses span retail, groceries and sugar.

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