ABF and Primark sales will surpass pre-Covid levels as consumers eye luggage and swimwear

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Monday, February 28, 2022 7:39 a.m.

Associated British Foods (ABF), which also owns budget retail chain Primark, said it was on track to surpass pre-Covid sales and operating profit levels.

The food maker is battling inflation, alongside rising energy costs, but expects grocery revenue to be two percent higher than in 2021.

While Primark’s sales for the first half of this year are expected to be “well up” at 60% on last year, which is around 4% below pre-pandemic levels.

It comes as the retailer eases commodity inflation and supply chain hurdles by reducing store operating costs – and a “favorable” US dollar exchange rate.

A number of Primark store closures freed up around £650million, ABF said today in its interim results for the six months to March 5.

ABF has opened 27 new Primark stores in the past two years.

Luggage and swimwear have performed well in recent weeks as reduced UK travel restrictions give Primark a boost in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.

ABF’s sugar division also traded strongly in the first half of the year, ABF added, with revenues expected to be 20% higher than last year.

UK sugar production is expected to produce a higher yield in 2022 as sugar prices in Europe have risen in response to lower stocks.

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