Primark owner ABF hails surging sales

PRIMARK owner Associated British Foods (ABF) is eyeing better-than-expected full-year results after a surge in sales at the discount fashion chain.

Primark sales were up after a big summer for the retailer. Picture: PA

The firm, which has a stable of brands including Silver Spoon sugar and Twinings tea, also predicted it would end the financial year to 14 September with net debt of £900 million, down from £1.1 billion last year.

Total sales at Primark are forecast to rise 22 per cent year-on-year, after 16 store openings took its total to 257. Like-for-like sales, which strip out new selling space, will grow about 5 per cent.

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ABF said: “In the second half, although growth was subdued during the very cold months of March and April, trading during the summer months was

strong and built upon the success of the same period last year.”

The group also said its Kingsmill bread brand has overtaken Hovis to claim number two spot in the UK market, behind Warburtons.

ABF is due to publish its full-year results on 5 November and analysts at Numis Securities lifted their pre-tax profit forecast to £1.1bn, from £1.08bn.