After a bleak warning for & # 39; challenging & # 39; trade in November, Highark petite Primark continued to deliver a better than expected performance at Christmas.
Owner of the low-cost fashion chain Associated British Foods (ABF) said today that the gain at Primark & # 39; far in front & # 39; because it showed an increase of 4 percent in the last four months.
The positive update comes despite the fact that the retailer complains about the difficult trade in November, when a lot of retailers complained about falling customer numbers and bad weather weighed on the European arm of Primark.
Primark sales increased by 4 percent in the past 16 weeks thanks to new store openings
Although total sales were boosted by new store openings, the company said it was a "modest decline." in comparable sales on the all-important & # 39; Golden Quarter & # 39; sorrow.
The retailer said: & # 39; The UK performed well and our share of the total clothing market increased significantly. Sales were 1 percent higher than last year for the period, in a market that fell year-on-year.
& # 39; Like-for-like sales in September and October were on the way, but visitor numbers declined in November. Sales during the Christmas period exceeded our expectations. & # 39;
Investors let out a sigh of relief and sent shares with more than 5 percent in early trading to £ 22.88, and helped to recover some of the damage that had been done last month after the company's chilling update.
The retailer also gave a good performance, so far, to its new American arm, especially in the Brooklyn store that opened in July.
Primark suffered a modest decline & # 39; in comparable sales above the extremely important Golden Quarter
ABF – consisting of Primark, a sugar company and a supermarket division, including Twinings and Ovaltine – said that group sales improved by 2 percent during the period.
Sales at his sugar-poor fell by 12 percent after it was stung by lower sugar prices in the EU, and supermarket sales increased by 3 percent.
Tom Stevenson, investment director at Fidelity, said that it is a "sweet and sour" & # 39; update, where the retail trade & # 39; the star dance & # 39; kept on.
SpreadEx analyst Connor Campbell said Primark & # 39; against the recent shadow prices in retail & # 39; is because the aggressive growth countered a slight decline in like-for-like sales.
Primark & # 39; looks positively robust compared to his colleagues & # 39; s & # 39 ;, he added.
Neil Wilson of Markets.com, however, noted that the & # 39; gravity defying & # 39; Primark's UK growth is slowing.
"We see a much less impressive growth than in previous years," he said.
& # 39; Ultimately, the lack of online offerings will limit revenue growth, but as long as it can maintain margins and be the best high street brand for affordable clothing, it should be relatively OK, & # 39; Wilson explained.
ABF maintains its forecast for the full year, with Primark still expected to make a profit increase despite the lifting of the red flag in November.