Jan 16, 2020

Even Primark is feeling the pinch on the high street

Even Primark, one of the retailers most resilient to high street flight, suffered from this year's Christmas selling season. Minimum wage increases, higher utility costs and "Stranded costs following the Costa sale" will all weigh on margins in Whitbread's next financial year, only partially cancelled out by an efficiency programme. In the third quarter of this financial year, falling like-for-like accommodation sales more than offset growth in food and beverage, though expansion means sales were up overall for the quarter. Total fees were down 7 per cent in the second quarter of the year, or 4 per cent like-for-like. Operating profit for the first half of the 2020 financial year is set to be only £100m, down from £124m a year ago.

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