Primark Pegs Sales Lost to Fall Lockdowns at £430M

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Associated British Foods, the owner of clothing retailer Primark, raised its estimate of sales lost during temporary closures of stores in major markets in the autumn of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions to £430 million ($578 million).

The group previously forecast a £375 million sales hit.

AB Foods said on Friday it still expects Primark’s full year 2020/21 sales and profit to be higher than the previous year.

Primark made a profit of £362 million in its 2019/20 financial year which ended on Sept. 12.

The group’s stores in its major markets of Ireland, England, France and Belgium have reopened in the last week.

It said sales in the days since reopening in each of these markets had been “very strong”.

Across its markets, 34 stores remain temporarily closed, including all stores in Northern Ireland and Austria.

AB Foods said all orders Primark has placed with suppliers have been honoured.

The group added that at this early stage in its new financial year trading across its grocery, sugar, ingredients and agriculture businesses has been ahead of both expectations and last year.

It said that it has completed all practical preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec. 31 and contingency plans were in place should its businesses experience disruption.

By James Davey

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