Primark trading ahead of expectations, says AB Foods

Associated British Foods said Primark trading for the year to date was ahead of expectations with improved like-for-like sales compared to the final quarter of last year, but warned of increasing Covid cases hitting stores in Europe.

The company on Friday added that it expected annual sales to be “significantly better” than the prior year when the Covid pandemic shut its stores for five months.

“We are managing disruption in our supply chain by prioritising products most in demand with the support of our logistics providers for whom we are a very important customer,” AB Foods said ahead of its annual shareholder meeting.

“We have stock cover on the vast majority of lines for the important Christmas trading period. The incidence of COVID-19 cases is increasing and the public health measures taken to date in our markets are mainly restrictions in trading hours in the Netherlands, the requirement for vaccine passes in Germany and the closure of our five stores in Austria.”

Trading across its grocery, sugar, ingredients and agriculture businesses had been in line with expectations, despite the impact of port congestion and road freight limitations.

“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.”

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