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Primark to grow selling space by one million sq ft

Primark has unveiled plans to increase its selling space by more than one million sq ft in the current financial year, outpacing the rapid growth seen in 2012/13.

Speaking at the annual general meeting on Friday (December 6) Charles Sinclair, chairman of Primark parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) confirmed plans for the retailer’s expansion, although noted it would be “more evenly spread” than before.

Sinclair noted that Primark had “built upon the exceptional like-for-like growth delivered in the same period last year with further like-for-like growth achieved.” Primark’s sales grew 9% to £4.27bn in the year to September 14, 2013.

Primark’s performance was such that, combined with a lower interest charge, the business is now expecting to offset any reduction in profit made from ABF’s sugar arm, which faces challenges from rising prices.

Last month ABF chief executive George Weston told Drapers that Primark was in talks over the 250,000 sq ft Pavilions shopping centre in Birmingham, which could see Primark take a store of up to 150,00 sq ft and let the remaining space to other retailers.

“We’re not sure of the exact detail yet but it would be a major store for a major city – look at Newcastle, Manchester and Oxford Street, it’s in that gang,” he said.”

The retailer is also planning to expand its flagship store at the east end of Oxford Street by more than a quarter in 2016.

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