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Primark to repay furlough relief despite seeing HY profits halve

While overall sales at ABF fell by 17% to £6.3bn, this was partially offset by the “record high” sales recorded for Primark in its first week of reopening on 12 April 2021

The owner of Primark, Associated British Foods (ABF), has revealed that it intends to repay £121m in relief repayment, despite profits falling 50% to £319m for the 24 weeks ended 27 February 2021.

The government support schemes enabled the company to preserve its entire 65,000 workforce for Primark.

While overall sales at ABF fell by 17% to £6.3bn, this was partially offset by the “record high” sales recorded for Primark in its first week of reopening on 12 April 2021.

Despite giving no exact figure, the group’s CEO said these record sales were witnessed in Primark stores across England and Wales. Nonetheless, Primark’s operating profit was still down by 90% to £43m in the period.

However, revenue in grocery, sugar, agriculture and ingredients proved to do “exceptionally well” with results boasting an almost 30% increase.

George Weston, chief executive of ABF, said: “Primark sales after store reopenings demonstrate the relevance and appeal of our value-for-money offering.

“We are excited about welcoming customers back into our stores as the lockdowns ease and are delighted with record sales in England and Wales in the week after reopening on 12 April.”

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