Primark posted a rise in sales group revenue for the 16 weeks to January 4 as the value retailer said it enjoyed “excellent Christmas trading”.
Sales at Primark were 12% ahead at constant currency and, with the benefit of a stronger euro, 14% ahead of the same period last year at actual rates.
The retailer put the rise in sales down to an 8% increase in selling space, strong like-for-like growth and higher sales densities from new stores.
Like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks were held back by the unseasonably warm weather and the strong comparatives in the previous year. However the second half of the period saw Primark enjoy stronger trading, with the value retailer enjoying “excellent Christmas trading with very strong like-for-like growth”.
Primark said operating profit margin was higher than in the same period last year, reflecting the Christmas trading, and was better than expected.
During the quarter, the company opened 14 new stores, including its first in France which began trading on December 16 from 63,000 sq ft in Marseille. Primark said early signs had suggested that the retailer had “captured the imagination of French consumers”, adding that it was one of its best store openings to date.
In the UK, the retailer opened three further stores including Crawley where its relocated to a larger site, and also closed its store in Leytonstone.