Primark’s sales in Europe were boosted by a rush in the week before ChristmasSANDER DE WILDE CORBIS GETTY IMAGES
18 January, 2018, 12:41
It said that a revenue and profit reduction greater than previously forecast is expected for the full year, largely as a result of "significantly lower European Union sugar prices, which adversely affected our United Kingdom and Spanish businesses".
Shares fell 3.5% to 2,756p in early deals.
Primark added that the United Kingdom continued to perform well with strong like-for-like sales, a consequent strong increase in share of the total market, and trading.
However, Primark's sales growth across mainland Europe was held back by unseasonably warm weather in October.
According to a trading update issued this morning, sales at Primark were 7% higher than in the same period last year, at constant currency levels, as a result of increased selling space, which has increased by 0.3 million square feet since financial year end. The company expects to open 1.2 million sq. ft.in this financial year.
Operating margins in the first half are now expected to be close to those in the same period previous year, with better buying "virtually offsetting" the adverse effect on purchase costs of the weaker pound against the dollar.
Total sales from at ABF, which also owns grocery brands including Kingsmill and Ryvita, a sugar processing arm, and an agricultural business, were up 4pc.
The pound traded at $1.3842, up from $1.3830 late Wednesday in NY. Allied Bakeries losses should be reduced for the year, helped by volumes remaining strong, while the Acetum balsamic vinegar business acquired last year delivered sales in line with expectations.
The US tax reform is expected to reduce the group's effective tax rate for the year by 100 basis points while lower interest rates on loans in Zambia and higher rates on US dollar and sterling deposits are projected to cut expenses.
Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets, said: "Overall, the company has left its guidance unchanged amid a mixed Christmas stocking". Primark achieved record sales in the week before Christmas.
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