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Dresses and shoes drive Primark sales

Primark has continued to defy the downturn, putting in a strong performance over its third quarter.

The value chain said shoppers had snapped up its £12 floral dresses and court shoes for £10 to help it record strong like-for-like sales increases. Analysts estimated like-for-likes were up 7% in the 16 weeks to June 19, just below the 8% reported for the first six months.

Primark reported a 17% jump in total sales over the 40 weeks to the same date, driven by increased selling space as well as like-for-like growth.

In the 16-week period, total sales dropped back to 15%, affected by the weakness of the euro, which hit non-UK revenues when translated into sterling.

The retailer said: “Operating margins for the second half of the year have been strong and the margin for the full year is expected to be ahead of that achieved last year.”

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