Primark’s takings soar by a quarter

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Fashion chain Primark showed rivals a clean pair of heels this Christmas as cash-strapped shoppers stocked up on budget trends.

Demand for Christmas jumpers and the popularity of all-in-one pyjamas, known as “onesies”, helped drive a 25 per cent increase in sales at the chain over the 16 weeks to 5 January, parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) said.

The group’s 14 store openings in Europe, including its second shop on London’s Oxford Street, helped boost figures, but City experts suggest the like-for-like result, excluding expansion, still rose by 9 per cent in the ­period.

Although its sugar division is likely to post lower figures, ABF hinted that Primark’s “outstanding performance” should lead to higher-than-expected profits.

“In light of the group’s current performance, we now expect to make further progress in adjusted operating profit for the full year,” it said.