Primark helps to boost sales at Associated British Foods

Press Release   •   Jul 11, 2013 11:08 BST

Associated British Foods today posted a nine per cent jump in sales for the 40 weeks to 22 June as expansion at Primark, its budget fashion chain, made up for slower sugar and grocery sales.

Primark revenue rose 20 percent in the 16 weeks to June 22, the London-based maker of Twinings tea said today in a statement.

Sales at the sugar division fell 15 percent in the same period due to "different phasing of UK volumes and the timing of shipments of Zambian exports to the EU.

Like-for-like growth was subdued by the cold weather in March and April but did much better in May and June.

"The group remains on track to make good progress in adjusted earnings per share for the full year in line with expectation," it said.

In the first nine months of the year, Primark sales were up 22 percent driven by an increase in retail selling space in the period coming up to Christmas and "good" same-store sales.

The company was among retailers whose products were made in the Bangladeshi factory building that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people. Primark has made plans for long-term compensation of the victims, it said.

Primark, which has 257 stores with nine million square feet of selling space, said extensions to its Manchester and Newcastle stores completed on schedule.

Store openings are expected to accelerate in the next financial year and include an outlet in Marseille, the chain's first venture in France.

Shares closed Wednesday at 1,815 pence valuing the company at GBP14.37 billion.

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