Primark reported a rise in sales over its Christmas quarter due to higher prices and store openings in the US, the retailer’s owner claims.
Associated British Foods (AB Foods) confirmed Primark sales jumped 2.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the 16 weeks to January 16, while total revenues at the retail rose by 7.9 per cent over the period.
The group said stronger growth in the weeks leading up to Christmas helped offset a lower sales from an unusually warm autumn at the beginning of the quarter.
Furthermore, it said new store openings helped boost its performance in the US, where total sales rose 45 per cent.
Primark is rolling out more stores in the US
Comparable store sales increased by 3.8 per cent in the UK with AB Foods attributing Primark’s sales rise to higher average selling prices.
Furthermore, the retail group cited strong demand for the budget fashion chain’s Christmas range, including its recent collaboration with singer Rita Ora.
On the impact of Red Sea shipping attacks on its business, AB Foods said it did not expect any “significant disruption” despite other retailer groups worrying of stock delays and cost hikes.
This sales improvement over the festive period comes amid Primark’s expansion into the US market in recent years.
Last year, AB Foods outlined its ambitions for growth in America with around 60 store openings within the next five years.
In a statement, the group said: “We continue to monitor the situation in the Red Sea but at this stage we do not expect any significant disruption to our supply chain.”
AB Foods stated that improvements in profitability across the Primark business “should insulate us well against potential additional costs of supply due to the disruption in the Red Sea should they arise”.
As well as this, the retail group cited its record UK market share over the three months to December 10 with Kantar data reporting this reaching 7.1 per cent.
The discount retail chain experienced lower than usual sales in Autumn
Elsewhere in Europe, trading for the retailer was less stellar with like-for-like sales edging up only 1.3 per cent.
According to the group, sales in some countries were impacted by specific economic conditions while others had strong trading from a year ago.
The wider group, which also runs large grocery, ingredients and agriculture operations outside of Primark, is on track for “a year of meaningful progress” in profitability, AB Foods reports.