Better weather boosts Primark

Budget fashion chain Primark reported a “marked improvement” in sales today as the warmer weather helped it underline its high street dominance.

Like-for-like growth was subdued by the cold weather in March and April but did much better in May and June, parent company Associated British Foods said.

The company said total sales were up by 20 per cent in the 16 weeks to 22 June, giving a figure of 22 per cent for the first 40 weeks of the financial year due to an increase in selling space as well as sales growth.

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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.

Parent company AB Foods said profits were higher and net debt was lower and expected to fall further. The group remained on track to make progress on earnings per share in line with expectations, it said.