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Primark prospers from record Christmas sales

UK fast-fashion retailer Primark has reported record Christmas sales, largely due to the addition of a massive 300,000sqft of retail selling space.

In its home market, Primark opened five stores during the 16-weeks to January 6 and during the whole year added 1.1 million sqft of space. By the end of the period the company, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, operated 350 stores and 14.2 million sqft of trading space.

Total retail sales rose 7 per cent year-on-year on a constant currency basis.

“The UK continued to perform well with strong like-for-like sales, a consequent strong increase in share of the total market, and trading which reflected the breadth of our consumer offering,” the company said in a statement.

Figures for Europe were less inspiring, due to warm weather in October reducing demand for winter clothing.

The company said its operating margins in the first half year are now expected to be close to those in the same period last year with better buying almost offsetting the adverse effect of the weaker exchange rate between the pound and the US dollar.

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