Primark reports better than expected showing since September

Retailer Primark said in an update that its trading performance since September has been better than expected

FAST fashion chain Primark has been trading better than expected over the last three months, its owner said, despite problems at ports and on roads.

AB Foods said it had managed to use its position as a major customer for its suppliers to overcome some of the squeezes on global supply chains, so has most of the products it needs for Christmas.

"Primark trading year-to-date has been ahead of expectations with improved like-for-like sales compared to the fourth quarter of our last financial year," the business said.

"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.

"We have stock cover on the vast majority of lines for the important Christmas trading period."

Recent worries over the new Covid variant have however brought some consequences.

Primark shops in the Netherlands have been hit by restrictions in trading hours, in Germany customers need vaccine passes, while its five shops in Austria have all closed.

But in the months ahead things are unlikely to get worse than they were at the same time last year, when most of the chain's shops were closed.

Between December and April sales are expected to be "significantly better" than in the same period a year earlier, AB Foods told shareholders.

The business also has several other wings, including grocery, sugar, ingredients and agriculture businesses.

These have all traded in line with expectations since the start of the financial year in September.

"We are experiencing the impact of widely reported port congestion and road freight limitations and our businesses have been working hard to overcome these difficulties," AB Foods said.

"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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