Associated British Food (ABF) said yesterday that Primark’s acquisition of Pavilions shopping centre in Birmingham to house a four-floor store was “an exception to the rule” as it posted a fresh set of soaring sales.
Finance director John Bason said the deal would pave the way for a 150,000 square feet store in around two years’ time, with the remaining space being leased to other chains.
The acquisition came as Primark revealed its sales had jumped 22 per cent in the third quarter to 21 June, boosted by warmer weather.
Primark now has 275 stores and total retail space of 10m square feet, with plans to open stores in the north east of the USA by the end of 2015 said to be on track. The firm aims for around 10 US stores by summer 2016.
The fashion retailer said sales in the year to date had increased 17 per cent, and ABF subsequently increased its full year earnings per share forecast, expected to be above last year.
The strong results from Primark helped to offset some of the impact of a 20 per cent revenue decline in ABF’s sugar division, hit by lower sugar prices, weaker EU sales and a production decline in north China.
ABF also said the strength of sterling could hit full year group profits, having a potential negative impact of £50m compared to last year, if current exchange rates prevail.
Kasmira Jefford, Thomas FitzGerald