Primark parent Associated British Foods (ABF) said the fashion operator’s full-year UK sales would approach pre-Covid levels in a pre-close update
Primark said its total sales in the 52 weeks to September 17 would be 40% up year on year on a constant currency basis.
The fashion retailer said this uplift was driven by strong demand from UK shoppers in the fourth quarter of its financial year as like-for-like sales for the period neared pre-Covid levels.
By contrast, Primark’s like-for-like sales across continental Europe fell below expectations in the fourth quarter.
The retailer, which is on track to launch its regional UK click-and-collect trial in the run-up to Christmas, said it expected a full-year operating profit margin of 9.6% with a second-half operating profit margin of 8%.
ABF said the group’s outlook for its current financial year of a “significant increase in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share” remained unchanged.
However, the retailer said it now expected profits for its next financial year and Primark’s operating profit margin to fall due to “significant market volatility affecting costs” including the strengthening of the US dollar, much higher energy costs and a decline in disposable income for shoppers as a result of inflation.
Despite this, ABF said it expected “significant” growth in group sales in its upcoming financial year, driven by “pricing and acceleration of selling space expansion” across its Primark arm as well as the ”commercial decision to limit further pricing actions”.
The retail group will release its preliminary results in full on November 8.
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