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Primark records strong first half

Primark saw like-for-like sales rise 5% for the six months to February 28.

Associated British Food, which owns Primark, reiterated in a pre-close statement this morning that sales in the first half had been substantially ahead of the previous year because of an increase in retail selling space and the strong like-for-like sales performance.

Primark appears to have benefited from shoppers trading down to the value market in the recession. It has outperformed most of the rest of the retail sector significantly.

However Primark added that the cost of the new Primark distribution centre at Thrapston in the UK had increased fixed overheads which would be reflected in a lower operating profit margin.

At the end of February Primark will have 187 stores and 5.6 million sq ft of selling space.

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