PRIMARK owner Associated British Foods today said half-year profits jumped 20% after another forecast-beating performance from the high street chain.
The group, which also owns household brands Kingsmill, Silver Spoon and Twinings, said Primark profits were up 18% to £144 million after new stores and an 8% rise in like-for-like sales lifted its revenues 19% to £1.26 billion.
Primark’s progress came despite the impact of the weak pound on the cost of imports, particularly those goods sourced in US dollars.
The chain operates from 196 stores across Europe and AB Foods said it expected to open another six stores in the second half of its financial year, including at Chester, Bury and Blackburn.
Overall profits for the group - adjusted for property sales and accounting items - rose to £331 million in the 24 weeks to February 27. The performance benefited from a substantial rise in profits from its sugar businesses, including a very strong performance from the UK.
Chief executive George Weston said: "The investments made in recent years are now delivering very satisfying returns throughout the group."
He said Primark was going from "strength to strength" after exceeding expectations in the first half of the year.