Primark sales up as warm weather lures shoppers in

Associated British Foods

Last Updated at 17 Jan 2018, 13:45 GMT *Chart shows local time Associated British Foods intraday chart
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Discount clothes chain Primark has posted a strong rise in sales as cost-conscious consumers were attracted into its 257 stores by the warmer weather.

Sales in the 16 weeks to 22 June rose 20% on the same period in 2012, with slow growth in March and April offset by better trading since May.

It meant Primark's owner, Associated British Foods, saw group sales up 8% to 22 June, ABF said in a trading update.

ABF brands include Twinings and Ryvita, but Primark is the main profits driver.

Third-quarter sales in ABF's grocery division, which also includes Ovaltine and Jordans cereals, rose 7%.

However, the the sugar division saw sales fall 15%, which ABF said was partly because of the timing of shipments from Zambia.

Panmure Gordon analyst Graham Jones said Primark's sales growth should leave it "comfortably ahead of key peers".

The retailer has plans to open more stores, including its first store in France, in Marseille.

ABF said in its trading statement that it was "deeply saddened" by the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in April, where one of Primark's suppliers was based.

The disaster left more than 1,000 dead. Primark donated food to 1,300 families after the tragedy and has paid short-term compensation to more than 3,300 workers from the building.

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