Value fashion chain Primark has reported adjusted operating profit up 30% at constant currencies to £662m and a sales increase of 17%.
For its full year to September 13, Primark’s owner Associated British Foods said the results were driven by an increase in retail selling space, like-for-like sales growth of 4%, and superior sales densities in the new stores.
Primark said profit margin in the first half was higher than last year reflecting the benefit of warehouse and distribution efficiencies and lower freight rates. Those benefits continued in the second half, and with strong trading over the summer resulting in a lower level of markdowns, the margin for the full year was 13.4%.
Primark continued to pay long-term compensation to the workers employed by its supplier or their dependants from the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Its total compensation amounts to US$12m (£7.5m).
Primark has undertaken structural assessments of all its supplier factories in Bangladesh and continues to strengthen its ethical trading specialists.
Primark continued to expand in the year. In the year 2000, when Primark opened its 100th store, after 31 years of trading, the estate was just 1.4m sq ft. Now, the estate is seven times larger.
This year Primark entered France, and continued its expansion in Europe.
Primark has chosen its stores in the US, including Downtown Crossing in Boston, Massachusetts, and will open in late 2015. It has also signed leases for a further seven stores in the US.
Chief executive George Weston said: “Looking ahead to the next few years we see excellent prospects for Primark.”