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Primark knocked by soft April

Primark’s sales since the half year have risen 14% but like-for-like sales in the third quarter were held back by weak trading in April.

Primark said that like-for-like sales growth had been held back because of the poor weather in April which was up against warm weather last year. The shift of Easter on the calendar also affected comparable sales. Primark did not give a figure.

For the 40 weeks to June 21, Primark sales were up 20%.

A statement from Associated British Foods, Primark’s parent company, said: “Trading for the group since the half year has been in line with our expectations. Continued high commodity costs and substantial increases in energy prices are a significant feature of the trading environment.

“Difficult economic conditions are having an impact on consumer demand. Nevertheless, with the exception of Sugar where, for well documented reasons, profit will fall short of last year, we continue to expect profit in the rest of the group to show progress in the second half.”

Since the half year, Primark has opened four additional stores in Spain, bringing the total to eight. It plans a further two openings in Spain and one in Derby in the UK by the year end.

Primark said it was considering increasing warehouse capacity because serve its expansion.

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