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AB Foods says Primark to reopen all stores in England on 15 June

By BFN News | 07:29 AM | Monday 01 June, 2020

Associated British Foods said its discount clothing retailer Primark would re-open all its stores in England on 15 June, while forecasting operating profit at its food businesses to be in line with previous guidance. The company also announced that it expected the performance of its grocery division to top expectations, but that its sugar business would fall short. Primark expected to be operating from 281 stores representing 79% of total selling space on 15 June. Stores in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland were anticipated to be opened in late June. 'By 15 June, we will also have opened three new stores which were originally planned for opening in our financial third quarter: Mons in Belgium and Gropius in Berlin, Germany have already opened; and a store in the Trafford Centre, Manchester in the UK would open on 15 June,' the company said. Cumulative sales since re-opening, on a like-for-like basis, were down on the same period last year in aggregate. Consumer demand had been 'strong' for children's, leisure and night wear, along with summer products such as shorts and t-shirts, reflecting good weather in markets where the company was trading. 'Our initial view is that the implementation of social distancing could only affect sales to some extent in the higher density stores, which represented some 10-to-20% of pre Covid-19 total Primark sales,' it added. AB Foods' grocery operating profit, meanwhile, would be ahead of its previous expectations with stronger sales of branded products sold through the retail channel, more than offsetting weaker sales in food service. But the company said it expected a lower profit at AB Sugar following further disappointing performance at Illovo. The aggregate operating profit for the group's food businesses is expected to be in line with previous guidance. Story provided by

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