Follow us:

Primark still cuts a dash on High Street

ABF boss George Weston said margins at Primark would deteriorate in the second half of the year because of the weaker pound
ABF boss George Weston said margins at Primark would deteriorate in the second half of the year because of the weaker pound / Getty Images
By
19 April 2017
P

rimark today proved resilient to recent High Street woes, reporting a healthy rise in UK sales.

Parent company Associated British Foods Parent said UK sales leapt 7% and 2% in shops open for more than a year during its first half.

It anticipates opening another 1.5 million square feet of selling space across the full year, versus the 1.3 million it previously guided.

ABF boss George Weston put the performance down to a better product, including top-sellers like gingham dresses.

But he again warned margins would deteriorate in the second half due to the weaker pound. The chain, which buys many goods in dollars, has no plans to put up prices.

Overall, the group, which also owns Ovaltine and Jordans cereals, benefited from sterling’s fall. Group revenue jumped 19% to £7.3 billion, while adjusted pre-tax profit surged 35% to £624 million.

ABF expects sales momentum to continue, but said profit growth would be tempered by a smaller currency benefit and Primark’s shrinking margins.