• Sales in Primark’s 3rd quarter are 7% ahead of last year following sterling weakness
  • But the retailer said LFLs in the last 16 weeks were “adversely affected by unpredictable weather patterns”
  • Primark ”very encouraged” by the early trading of stores in France, at Danbury in the US and Arese in Italy

Primark has posted a rise a 7% rise in third-quarter sales after it benefited from opening 11 new stores in the period.

The Associated British Foods-owned fashion retailer said total sales in the three months to the end of June at actual currency rates - not including exchange rate fluctations - also ”benefited from sterling weakness” in the wake of Brexit.

However like-for-likes at Primark in the last 16 weeks were hit by “unpredictable weather”, particularly a cold April.

Operating profit margin at the retailer in the third quarter was 11.9%, in line with the first half.

ABF said it was “very encouraged” by the early trading of Primark’s new stores, especially those in France, Danbury in the US and Arese in Italy.

Looking ahead, ABF acknowledged that Brexit had caused ”uncertainty in the business environment and financial markets”.

It said that the weakning of sterling would have an ”adverse transactional effect on the profit margin on Primark’s UK sales”, with half outside the UK.

However it added for the group - including its sugar business - it would have a ”translation benefit on profits earned outside the UK”, which last year were around half of its total profits. 

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