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Primark Q3 sales soar as markets reopen

By Huw Hughes

1 Jul 2021


Image: Primark

Primark has reported a jump in Q3 revenue after the company was allowed to reopen its stores amid the easing of lockdown restrictions across its key markets.

For the 16 weeks to June 19, revenue at the Irish fast-fashion giant hit 1.6 billion pounds, a stark improvement on the 0.6 billion pounds it made in the same period last year when all its stores were closed for an average of 12 weeks.

Compared to 2019 pre-Covid levels, like-for-like sales were up 3 percent, but Primark added that “volatility remains high and performance varied by region depending on the degree of restrictions related to Covid-19”.

Unlike many of its rivals, Primark doesn’t have an online store to offset sales losses from its physical estate, so the retailer was hit particularly hard by lockdowns over the past 16 months.

But sales in this year’s third quarter were ahead of expectation in all markets, with a number of new sales records set, Primark parent company AB Foods said Thursday.

Primark began the quarter trading from 22 percent of its retail selling space, while by the end of the quarter all its stores had reopened.

Primark ups full-year sales forecast

The company said its like-for-like performance was “much improved” on earlier periods during this pandemic “reflecting an increase in both confidence and willingness to spend by our customers”.

“Some of the fashion is flying off the shelves,” AB Foods finance chief John Bason told Reuters.

“That is a return to people really wanting to buy things because they’re starting to go out again, whereas previously, after the other two lockdowns, it really was all about leisurewear or nightwear or things for the home.”

In light of its Q3 revenue, Primark has upped its full-year sales forecast and expects adjusted operating profit to be broadly in line with last year.