Clothing & Shoes

Primark trading ‘ahead of expectations’ despite supply issues

The retailer saw improved like-for-like sales compared with the fourth quarter of the last financial year, but warned of the impact of ongoing supply chain issues and new Covid-19 variants

Associated British Foods (ABF), the owners of Primark, has revealed that trading for the year to date is set to be “ahead of expectations”, despite recent disruptions across its supply chain.

The retailer has reported improved like-for-like sales compared with the fourth quarter of the last financial year, but still warned of the impact of ongoing supply chain issues and new Covid-19 variants.

The group said it is managing disruption within the supply chain by “prioritising” products most in demand with the support of its logistics providers.

To deal with the peak Christmas period, ABF reportedly “stock covered” on the vast majority of lines for the important festive season.

Meanwhile, whilst the number of Covid-19 cases has increased across Europe, it has caused restrictions on trading hours in the Netherlands, the requirement for vaccine passes in Germany and the subsequent closure of five stores in Austria.

Michael McLintock, chairman, ABF, said: “We are experiencing the impact of widely reported port congestion and road freight limitations and our businesses have been working hard to overcome these difficulties.

“We have seen an escalation in the cost of energy, logistics and commodities and we have been implementing plans to offset these through operational cost savings and, where necessary, the implementation of price increases.”

However, he added: “Taking these factors into account, we continue to expect significant progress, at both the half and full year, in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the group.”

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