Thursday 2nd July 2020 09:45 BST
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% droop in gross sales throughout its third quarter and forecasting successful of virtually two-thirds to the chain’s annual earnings.
It comes as excessive road rivals announce 1000’s of job losses – with the mum or dad corporations of Topshop and even Harrods amongst these chopping workers 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, consistent with the easing of guidelines, on 15 June.
ABF stated that for the reason that re-opening of its first European shops on four Could, gross sales on a like-for-like foundation had 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 complete Primark promoting area open, hit £133m with buying and selling in England and Eire forward of the identical week final yr, ABF stated.
It stated its retail park shops had been significantly busy as pent-up demand amongst consumers resulted in queues exterior many shops, although it admitted metropolis centre retailers had not proved as busy due to weak tourism and commuter exercise.
The corporate stated 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 yr – with Primark’s woes partly offset by progress in its grocery and components arms.
Shares – down 24% within the yr thus far – had been nearly 8% greater in early Thursday dealing after the buying and selling replace.
The corporate stated: “Practically all Primark shops at the moment are buying and selling once more and we estimate that, absent a big variety of additional retailer closures, adjusted working revenue for Primark, excluding distinctive prices, can be within the vary £300-350m for the total yr in comparison with £913m reported for the final monetary yr.”