Primark sales up 7.9% in first quarter after slow start

Primark sales were up 7.9 per cent to £3.3 billion in the first quarter after a slow start driven by "unseasonably warm weather".

Associated British Foods (ABF), the parent company of Primark, said that it recorded stronger sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Primark’s market share reached a new record at 7.1 per cent for the 12 weeks to 10 December, up by 0.1 percentage point compared to the previous year.

ABF said that the company feels “more confident” in the delivery of Primark’s adjusted operating margin in 2024 because of further improvement in product gross margin.

It added that this would insulate the business against potential additional supply chain costs due to the current disruption in the Red Sea.

The results come after Primark reported a 15 per cent year on year profits rise to around £9 billion in its full financial year ended 16 September.

The retailer said the figure reflected a sales increase in all of its markets, attributing this to factors including “carefully selected” price increases taken to partially offset high and volatile input cost inflation, and “well-received” product ranges.

Primark described its product ranges across the year, including well-received seasonal product lines such as velvet plush leggings, and a “resurgence” in women’s partywear, as a source of “differentiation and competitive advantage”.

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