Primark trading statement says little, talks up strong store pipeline
Primark owner Associated British Foods issued one of the briefest trading updates we’ve seen on Friday — ahead of its annual general meeting — and it didn’t really tell us much about how trading is going at present.
That’s interesting because the equivalent trading statement this time last year did go into a little detail about how the first eight weeks of the financial year had fared and how the retailer was on the right track, despite a tough November.
This time though, the company only informed us that “Primark will continue to expand its selling space this year, with the most stores being added in France and Spain”.
And it said that since the financial year end, it has opened three new stores, bringing its total estate to 376 stores trading from 15.8 million sq ft. Looking further ahead, we’re told Primark “has a strong pipeline of good quality sites”.
And trading itself? Well there was no information on that, although the company did say that it expects the “margin for the full year to be only a small reduction on that achieved last year, on a lease-adjusted basis, with the effect of a weaker sterling on purchases being largely offset by cost reductions in both the cost of goods and overheads”.
The company is also still expecting progress, on both a reported and an IFRS 16 adjusted basis, in adjusted earnings per share for the group for this financial year.
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