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Primark expects ‘slightly better’ trading than forecasted in pre close report

By Rachel Douglass


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Primark storefront. Credits: Primark.

Associated British Foods (ABF) has published an update of its financial performance ahead of issuing its full year results for the 52 weeks to 16 September, 2023, which are scheduled to come on November 7.

The group, which counts Primark as one of its central brands, said that its outlook for the financial year is expected to be “slightly better than previous expectations”, after it had initially forecast its adjusted operating profit to be “moderately ahead” of last year.

For Primark, ABF said Q4 sales are projected to be around 15 percent higher than in the same period the previous year, with a like-for-like sales growth of 8 percent.

Meanwhile, retail sales for the budget clothing chain are expected to potentially come in at nine billion pounds with a like-for-like sales growth of 9 percent, driven largely by “selective price increases, well received ranges and strongly performing new stores”.

The group is further expecting a recovery in its gross margin “as a result of lower material costs, the weakening of the US dollar against sterling and the euro and lower freight costs”, which have each improved in recent weeks.

In the UK, sales are forecast to have increased by 8 percent, despite seeing “unseasonable weather” in July and August, impacting transactions and footfall for the retailer.

For Europe and the US, however, Q4 sales are expected to each see significant rises of 18 percent and 45 percent, respectively, for which new store openings have been a contributing factor.

By the end of the financial year, Primark said it envisions trading from 432 stores globally, spanning 18.2 million square feet of retail space.