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Hot days hit Primark sales, brand optimistic about future business

Primark’s sales were hit by unseasonably warm weather in October. But the UK fashion chain expects profit growth to pick up this year. Underlying sales at Primark rose one per cent in the 16 weeks to March 3, and the chain saw record sales in the week before Christmas.

Primark operates across Europe and has been expanding in the US. Primark opened a 75,000 sq ft store in the UK and will continue to drive sales growth through new stores. It added 16 new stores in the period, including several in UK, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the US.

Primark is an Anglo-Irish chain owned by Associated British Foods. Among Primark’s top 20 stores by sales density, 15 are now in continental Europe including seven in its newest markets of France and Italy. Primark is unique among mega-sized retailers in not selling online.

ABF expects half-year operating profits for the group to be similar to levels seen last year. While most of its businesses have seen revenues rise, its sugar unit’s revenue and profit is expected to fall, mainly as a result of significantly lower EU prices which affected its UK and Spanish businesses.