Apr 20, 2021

Primark raises estimate of Covid-driven lost sales

Operating profit at Primark fell 90 per cent to £43m in the first half and the discount fashion retailer increased its estimate of the sales that will be lost due to trading restrictions in the second half of the year. Although many of its stores in England have set trading records since reopening on April 12, and those in Scotland are set to do so on Monday, trading in Europe has been "Mixed", parent company Associated British Foods said. Some store reopening dates have been delayed while some have reopened but with restricted trading in place. As a result, it expects to forgo some £700m of sales in the second half, up from an earlier estimate of £480m. It said its US business had turned profitable and that the period after reopening in Europe would be unusually cash generative as paid-for inventory is sold through. The outlook for AB Foods' sugar, grocery and ingredients businesses in the second half was also muted after an "Exceptional" first six months.

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