Profits slump at Primark owner after stores close due to pandemic

Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has revealed a slump in profit for the past year after the enforced closures of its high-street stores.
Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has revealed a slump in profitPrimark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has revealed a slump in profit
Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has revealed a slump in profit

It reported that operating profit slid by 40% to £810 million for the year to September 12 after being weighed down by lower revenues.

The update comes as new lockdown restrictions have been announced across Europe which will see its UK stores shut their doors temporarily from Thursday.

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ABF said the new restrictions will have a “significant” impact on Primark, although it still expects sales and profits in the retailer during the current financial year to be higher.

George Weston, chief executive of ABF, said: “I am proud of how our people have responded to the many challenges presented by Covid-19.

“Throughout, we have provided safe, nutritious food under the most extraordinary conditions, proving the value and resilience of our supply chains.

“Following a three-month closure, Primark delivered a robust performance, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response when it safely welcomed customers back to its stores.

Uncertainty about temporary store closures in the short-term remains, but sales since reopening to the year-end of £2 billion demonstrate the relevance and appeal of our value-for-money offering.”