Primark expects to add 950,000 sq ft of new selling space during the next financial year. This will include six new stores. These plans are driven by higher margins and strong sales in the UK and European markets the brand’s profits increased by 25 per cent during its half year. Its adjusted operating profits for the 24 weeks to March 2, 2019 increased by 25 per cent up to £426m, while total revenue increased by 4 per cent to over £3.6billion.
Global sales at the value retailer increased by 4.4 per cent year on year, driven by increased retailing space, which helped partially, offset a 1.5 per cent decline in like-for-like sales. The value fashion retailer reported a 2.3 per cent increase in its year on year UK sales, while like-for-like sales in the region grew by 0.6 per cent. It also reported encouraging customer reactions to its new spring/summer range.
European sales of the brand grew by 5.3 per cent year on year, but like-for-like sales declined by 3.2 per cent, which Primark attributed to a decline in the German market and low footfall across the region in November. However, the brand reported strong sales growth in its Spain, France, Italy and Belgium market.
Primark also reported strong business performance in the US, driven by excellent trading at its recently opened store in Brooklyn, New York. Operating margins in this market increased by two percentage points to 11.7 per cent.