Primark has reported that its like-for-like sales in the UK have returned to pre-Covid levels.


Primark has recorded a total sales increase of 43% to £7.7bn in the 52 weeks to September 17

The fashion retailer recorded soaring profits and sales in the year to September 17, with adjusted operating profit up 136% to £756m.

Primark’s total sales also jumped 43% to £7.7bn against a comparable 52-week period the previous year.

In the UK, the retailer’s sales were 48% ahead of the same comparable period in 2021.

Across the year, like-for-like sales in the UK improved from 10% below pre-Covid levels in the first quarter to 2% below in the final quarter of the financial year.

Primark added that its market share of the UK clothing sector was also “broadly in line” with pre-Covid levels.

Like-for-like sales in continental Europe were up 5% on a one-year basis, but Primark flagged lower consumer confidence in the region.

In Germany, in particular, the retailer said footfall has not returned to pre-pandemic levels and it may look to optimise its store estate there going forward.

Primark owner Associated British Foods chief executive George Weston said: “The group delivered strong revenue and profit growth this year in a clear demonstration of the benefits of our diversification, brand strength, and of our commitment to disciplined financing and investment. The performance was achieved despite pandemic-induced disruption being followed by high and volatile input cost inflation.

“Sales, margin and profits at Primark increased significantly as more normal customer behaviour resumed after the pandemic. Significant progress was made in building out Primark’s digital capability, which will be a key element in the future development of Primark.

“Looking ahead, substantial and volatile input cost inflation will be the most significant challenge in the new financial year and our businesses will continue to seek to recover these higher costs in the most appropriate way.

“Primark has faced significant input cost inflation and sharply moving currency exchange rates. We have decided to hold prices for the new financial year at the levels already implemented and planned, and to stand by our customers rather than set pricing against these highly volatile input costs and exchange rates.

“As a result, in the current financial year we expect significant growth in group sales from pricing in food, as well as from some pricing and from space expansion at Primark. Our outlook remains unchanged.

“We continue to expect group adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share to be lower than the financial year just closed. The group remains financially strong with good cash generation and substantial liquidity, and we are announcing this year a share buyback programme of £500m together with an 8% increase in the total dividend.”