Primark, part of Associated British Foods plc said in a trading update that footfall during the Christmas period was strong in both the UK and the Eurozone, and sales were 18 percent ahead of last year at actual exchange rates and 15 percent at constant currency to 3.15 billion pounds.
The company's like-for-like sales were 11 percent ahead, supported by higher unit volumes, higher average selling prices and a normalised level of markdown.
However, it said in a statement that early trading in this new calendar year has been encouraging but macro-economic headwinds remain and may weigh on consumer spending in the months ahead.
Primark posts sales growth across markets
In the UK, the company added that sales were 15 percent ahead of last year, nearly all of which was like-for-like growth.
Primark’s share of the total UK clothing, footwear and accessories market by value, which includes online sales, for the 12 weeks reached 7 percent, up from 6.5 percent in the comparable period last year.
Trading in Europe, excluding the UK, witnessed 16 percent sales increase with growth in all markets. Like-for-like sales were 8 percent higher.
Primark opened 12 stores in the region over the last 12 months. The company further said that the new stores in Bucharest, Romania, and in Caserta, near Naples in Italy, are both performing particularly strongly.
The company reported sales growth of 4 percent in the US. It plans to nearly double selling space in the US this financial year and opened three stores towards the end of the period in Roosevelt Field, Long Island; Jamaica Avenue, Queens; City Point, Brooklyn. The company also extended our recently opened store at Sawgrass Mills in Florida.
Primark launched a new site in the Republic of Ireland, to be followed in the coming months by Germany, Spain, and the US, with remaining markets expected by the middle of the calendar year.
Primark continues retail expansion
Ten new stores were opened in the period including the first store in Romania, Primark’s 15th market, three in the US, two in Italy, two in Poland, one in France, and one in Northern Ireland. The company also reopened the Bank Buildings store in Belfast and extended stores at Sawgrass Mills, Florida, and Galway Eyre Square, Republic of Ireland.
In this financial year, the company plans to open a further 17 stores including seven in the US, three in France, three in Spain, two in Italy, one in Romania, and its first store in Slovakia, which becomes Primark’s 16th market, in Bratislava. Primark recently signed a lease for its first store in Hungary, which will become the company’s 17th market, in Budapest.