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Primark sales to jump 60% after pandemic recovery

Associated British Foods said its sales and profits are ‘strongly ahead’ of last year.

28 February 2022

Associated British Foods (ABF) has said rebounding business at its Primark fashion stores mean its sales and profits are “strongly ahead” of last year.

The value fashion brand’s parent company said Primark sales are set to jump 60% for the 24 weeks to March 5, compared with the same period last year, due to reduced pandemic restrictions.

It said all Primark outlets remained open throughout the period, apart from short periods of closures in Austria and the Netherlands.

Sales across the company’s UK stores are “well ahead” of last year as shoppers flocked back.

“UK like-for-like sales have improved and are expected to be 9% below two years ago, and total sales are expected to be 8% below two years ago,” the company added.

“Stores in retail parks and town centres continue to outperform destination city centre stores, with like-for-like sales in retail parks ahead of pre-Covid levels.”

Primark added that it has been boosted by the opening of 27 new stores over the past two years.

ABF said the impact of inflation on raw materials and Primark’s supply chain was offset by cost-cutting and currency changes during the half-year.

However, it said its food businesses, which includes brands such as Ryvita and Twinings, has seen profit margins hit by surging costs, and confirmed it will increase the price of some products.

The company said it expects this arm to recover by the end of the financial year as the benefits of price rises and cost savings filter through.

The grocery operation is set to post a 2% jump in revenues compared with the same period last year

Its Twinings Ovaltine arm “performed well” over the period, but the group’s Allied Bakeries business, which makes Kingsmill bread, reported a decline.

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