Primark stuns on catwalk as profits jump 29pc to €847m
Discount fashion chain Primark was once again the star on the Associated British Foods (ABF) catwalk as the retail arm delivered £662m (€847m) in operating profit for the group in the last financial year.
The figure represents a 29pc jump on the previous period.
ABF has been continuing to expand Dublin-headquartered Primark across Europe, with plans to enter the US market late next year. Its first outlet there will be in Boston.
Sales at the chain, which trades as Penneys in Ireland, were 16pc higher at £4.95bn (€6.3bn) in the year to the middle of September.
ABF said Primark sales were 4pc higher on a like-for-like basis. It said trading in its five new French outlets has been "exceptional".
Primark is currently undertaking a massive revamp of its Dublin HQ to make room for 500 employees.
The strong performance by the retailer helped to buoy ABF, whose group performance was weighed down by its sugar unit.
ABF is one of the world's biggest sugar producers. Revenue and operating profit at the division were down 22pc and 56pc respectively, driven by declining sugar prices.
ABF chairman Charles Sinclair said the group expects that there will be a "marginal decline" in adjusted operating profit in the current financial year, but that the impact will be mitigated by "much lower tax and interest charges".
ABF is 55pc-owned by the Weston family, which also owns Selfridges and Brown Thomas.