Primark achieved an 11% growth in revenue to £3,222m in the 24 weeks to 4 March, its owner Associated British Foods revealed as it announced its interim results today.
The value fashion retailer achieved the 11% revenue growth on a comparable basis with last year at constant currency; on an actual currency basis the growth was 21%. Operating profit was down 2% on a constant currency basis at £323m but up 3% on an actual currency basis.
The relative strength of the dollar had impacted input costs, ABF confirmed, which led to a decline in operating margin as the company sought to absorb the extra costs rather than pass them on to the customer through higher prices.
In the “highly competitive” UK market, Primark performed well, it said, achieving a 7% growth in sales and a 2% like-for-like growth, as well as increasing market share.
During the period Primark opened 16 new stores, equating to 0.8m sq ft of selling space, across eight countries (including in Carlisle, Stafford, York, Truro and Colchester in the UK) and the company said that early trading figures from the stores had been ahead of expectations.
As well as the openings some stores have been expanded or relocated. The store at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street in London was extended by almost 40%, increasing square footage to 114,000 sq ft, making it the brand’s largest store after Manchester and Newcastle in the UK and the Gran Via store in Madrid, Spain. In Reading and Sheffield it relocated to larger stores in more central locations.
Since the half-year point a further 0.3m sq ft of store space has been added and it is on target to have added 1.5m sq ft of selling space in this financial year.