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Drapers Top 100 2016 – 4. Paul Marchant, chief executive, Primark

Paul marchant primark

Paul marchant primark

Slipping three places from last year’s number one slot, Paul Marchant has nonetheless had a solid 2016 at the helm of Primark. While difficult to match the drama of its expansion into the US last year, the company has continued its march in the UK and overseas. It has a staggering 1.3 million sq ft of new space in the pipeline for the year to September 2017.

Primark’s sales grew by 9% on a constant-currency basis to reach £5.9bn for the 12 months to 17 September, while adjusted operating profit increased 1% to £689m. While the industry grapples with rising costs from currency fluctuations, Marchant remains committed to Primark’s value stance, insisting the firm will take a hit on its margin rather than increase prices. Under his leadership, Primark is in a better position than some of its rivals to be able to do this.

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