The proprietor of Primark says it’s putting over £1bn in orders for the autumn and winter season forward following an “encouraging” begin to coronavirus lockdown re-openings.
Related British Meals (ABF) used a buying and selling replace to the Metropolis to color a largely upbeat image of Primark’s fortunes, regardless of recording a 75% stoop in gross sales throughout its third quarter and forecasting a success of just about two-thirds to the chain’s annual earnings.
It comes as excessive avenue rivals announce hundreds of job losses – with the dad or mum corporations of Topshop and even Harrods amongst these reducing employees on Wednesday alone.
Primark closed all its shops in March as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions demanded the shuttering of all non-essential retail.
It was unable to commerce in any respect throughout that point due to its refusal to launch on-line.
All 153 shops in England resumed buying and selling, in keeping with the easing of guidelines, on 15 June.
ABF mentioned that because the re-opening of its first European shops on four Might, gross sales on a like-for-like foundation have been simply 12% down through the seven weeks to 20 June.
Gross sales within the week ended 20 June, which had greater than 90% of whole Primark promoting area open, hit £133m with buying and selling in England and Eire forward of the identical week final 12 months, ABF mentioned.
It mentioned its retail park shops had been significantly busy as pent-up demand amongst buyers resulted in queues exterior many retailers, although it admitted metropolis centre outlets had not proved as busy due to weak tourism and commuter exercise.
The corporate mentioned the style chain had already positioned orders price £800m for the looming autumn-winter season and that sum would exceed £1bn quickly.
ABF’s third quarter buying and selling replace confirmed group income from persevering with companies for the 40 weeks ended 20 June was 13% decrease than the identical interval final 12 months – with Primark’s woes partly offset by progress in its grocery and elements arms.
Shares – down 24% within the 12 months up to now – have been virtually 8% increased in early Thursday dealing after the buying and selling replace.
The corporate mentioned: “Practically all Primark shops are actually buying and selling once more and we estimate that, absent a major variety of additional retailer closures, adjusted working revenue for Primark, excluding distinctive prices, can be within the vary £300-350m for the total 12 months in comparison with £913m reported for the final monetary 12 months.”