Primark sees sales surge helped by better weather
Dublin-headquartered clothing retailer Primark has returned to underlying sales growth for the first time in 18 months. Low prices and warm weather drove a strong performance in Britain in its latest quarter, according to owner Associated British Foods (ABF).
Primark's performance confounds fears that a squeeze in British consumers' spending power could dent demand.
ABF - which also has major sugar, grocery, agriculture and ingredients businesses - said Primark's better-than-expected third-quarter performance meant the group's outlook for the year to mid-September 2017 had "marginally improved".
The statement sent its shares as much as 6pc higher, making it the FTSE-100 index's biggest riser. The shares retreated later to close up 2.6pc.
Primark's total sales increased 15pc at constant exchange rates in the 16 weeks to June 24, its fiscal third quarter, and were up 21pc at actual exchange rates, ABF said.
Finance director John Bason said Primark's overall like-for-like sales were positive in the quarter, having been flat in the first half.
"The UK is very strong. It's not a bit of an improvement, it's a big improvement," he said, but declined to give a specific figure.
"It's a combination of factors but first and foremost the product and particularly the stores are looking great at the moment," he said, noting the contribution of a later Easter holiday this year and better weather. (Reuters)