Primark’s parent company, Associated British Foods, has reported that revenues rose 36% year on year to £2.7 billion for the 16 weeks to 8 January 2022.
Stores in retail parks and town centres continued to outperform destination city centre stores with like for like sales in retail parks ahead of pre-Covid levels. Over the last two years, since the start of the pandemic, Primark has opened 25 stores lifting its retail selling space by 7%.
Sales in UK stores were well ahead of last year. Like for like sales were 10% below two years ago and improved on the final quarter of our financial year 2021. Trading was impacted by a decline in footfall as a result of the rapid rise in Omicron cases, but has improved in recent weeks, ABF reported.
Sales in Continental Europe were also well ahead of last year, although the standout performer was the US business. This delivered 4% like for like sales growth in the period compared to pre-Covid levels, while sales were 37% ahead of two years ago.
Total Primark sales this period were 5% lower than pre-Covid levels in the same period two years ago. Like for like sales were 11% below.
The company also reported that, while the pressure of disruption to the supply chain experienced in the autumn as alleviated, it is still experiencing some delays in dispatch at ports of origin, with long shipping times expected to continue for some time.
Primark said it expects sales to be “significantly” higher year-on-year between now and April, with all its stores open.
However, it also confirmed that 400 jobs are set to go across UK stores as it looks to simplify its UK store retail management structure.