Associated British Foods nears deal for first Primark warehouse in the US

Kasmira Jefford
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ASSOCIATED British Foods said yesterday its clothing giant Primark was close to striking a deal for a warehouse in the US to support its first foray in the country.

Primark is set to open a 70,000 square foot store in Boston in 2015, and it is also in talks to open a further nine shops in key cities such as New Jersey and Baltimore. It is also close to securing a warehouse, which is likely to be in Pennsylvania, finance director John Bason said.

Its entry in the US comes after Primark stepped up the pace of its expansion across Europe this year and opened its first stores in France.

In a trading update yesterday, the company said Primark’s full-year sales are expected to be 17 per cent ahead of the previous year thanks to 28 new store openings in the year, with like-for-like sales up 4.5 per cent.

Bason brushed off concerns of a slowdown at Primark in the fourth quarter, which he attributed to the early heatwave in April and the cold snap the previous year helping to deliver better-than-expected third quarter sales.

Strong sales at the retailer will help offset a fall at its sugar arm, with full year profits forecast to be substantially lower than the previous year because of falling European sugar prices.

Shares fell 4.7 per cent yesterday as analysts further trimmed their expectations for the sugar business.

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