“We are as convinced as we have ever been in the long-term growth prospects for Primark” says George Weston.
The expected drop in half year sales and profits at Primark may have been confirmed this morning (20 April), however chief executive George Weston is confident that stores will become cash generative following the easing of restrictions, reporting record sales in England and Wales in the week after re-opening on 12 April.
The fast fashion retailer’s parent company, Associated British Foods said its revenue dropped 40% to £2.23 billion for the six months to 27 February, with the majority of its stores closed for more than half of the period.
Adjusted operating profit dropped a staggering 90% to £43 billion.
ABF reported a 17% drop in group revenue to £6.31 billion, while its adjusted operating profit fell 46% to £369 million.
However, Primark considers its like for like performance to be strong, reported Fashion United, considering their was lower category spend, lower footfall and trading restrictions when stores were open.
Like for like performance in the UK was -6% in the first half and -1% excluding four major city centre stores.
Chief executive George Weston is confident that stores will become cash generative following the easing of restrictions.
“We are excited about welcoming customers back into our stores as the lockdowns ease and are delighted with record sales in England and Wales in the week after reopening on 12 April,” he commented. “With our success in a number of new markets, as wide-ranging as Poland and Florida, we are as convinced as we have ever been in the long-term growth prospects for Primark.”
ABF added that it expects to be trading from 68% of selling space by the end of April.
It also confirmed it will repay £121 million in furlough money claimed under government job retention schemes and also pay out a dividend to shareholders.