By guest author Georgia Wright from the Retail Gazette
April 25, 2023
· Primark sales surge as it posts a 19 % increase in sales to GBP 4.3 billion for the 24 weeks to March 4, 2023
· Owner ABF has kept its guidance for a flat outcome in the full year, staying cautious about the resilience of consumer spending
Primark’s sales surged 19 % in its first half as the value fashion giant rolls out its click-and-collect trial.
The retailer reported “very good footfall and margin better than expected”, which helped sales soar to GBP 4.3 billion for the 24 weeks to March 4, 2023.
It achieved “good growth in all countries” in trades in. Adjusted operating profit of GBP 351 million for the period, as it increased its operating profit margin to 8.3 %, which it said was “higher than we had expected”.
The fashion retailer said its sales growth was “driven by price and volume”, and parent company ABF chief executive George Weston said he was “very pleased” with Primark’s “very successful” period.
The retailer said: “At Primark, we remain cautious about the resilience of consumer spending in the face of ongoing inflation in the cost of living and higher interest rates.
“We chose not to recover all the input cost inflation in Primark and actions on price in our food businesses lagged input cost inflation as usual, and margin declined in the first half as a result.
“Given the extent of inflation this was to be expected and we regard this level of profitability as satisfactory in the circumstances while acknowledging that there is more work to do on margin recovery.”
Primark unveiled the expansion of its click-and-collect trial, following the success of its 25 store trial across the North West and Wales last November.
Launching this summer, customers will be able to shop childrenswear online and collect products from one of Primark’s 32 stores in and around London included in the trial region.
Chief executive Paul Marchant said: “We’re really encouraged by how the trial has landed with customers, who tell us they value the choice and convenience click-and-collect is offering them.
“We’re also seeing strong demand for the service outside the trial region and it’s helping us reach new customers too.
“This gives us the confidence to take this trial to the next level and expand it further to more stores to understand how the service can work for a broader range of customers. We’ll continue to monitor the trial closely as we look to complement the experience and offer we have in our stores.”
The click-and-collect trial expansion brings Primark’s total number of trial stores to 57.