• Primark expects full-year like-for-likes to be down 2%
  • Total sales are expected to be up 9%, on a constant currency basis
  • Retailer warns a weak pound will hit its operating profit margin in the year ahead

Primark has warned its full-year like-for-likes will drop 2% after “unseasonable” weather in the UK hurt its sales.

The fast fashion retailer, owned by conglomerate Associated British Foods (ABF), said warm weather pre-Christmas and a “very cold” March and April had impacted its performance. 

However Primark’s total full-year sales in the 53 weeks to September 17 are expected to be up 9% on a constant currency basis.

The retailer’s total sales were bolstered by new store openings as 22 shops were opened during the period, bringing the retailer’s total estate to 315 stores, comprising 12.3 million sq ft.

Ireland delivered a “strong” performance, while stores in Spain, France and Austria “traded well”, the retailer said.

Primark said the weakening of the pound following the EU referendum would have no effect on its financial results this year, but warned that “margin will be adversely affected in the new financial year”.

The retailer said that if the current exchange rates continued “there would be an adverse transactional effect on the profit margin on Primark’s UK sales”.

It is continuing its aggressive bricks-and-mortar expansion into the new financial year, and already has 1.3 million sq ft of new space planned to open across Germany, Italy, Amsterdam and the US.

Primark posted mixed results at the half-year mark, as sales rose but profits dipped from £322m to £313m.