Associated British Foods reported on Tuesday a 15% rise in sales for its Primark clothing business over the 16 weeks ending January 7. The food processing group attributed the sales boost to a busy Christmas period.
“To date, Primark trading has been good in all our markets and was ahead of expectation,” Associated British Foods said in a statement before warning that, “early trading in this new calendar year has been encouraging but macro-economic headwinds remain and may weigh on consumer spending in the months ahead.”
British official data showed the largest dropoff in consumer spending for the month of December to date, largely due to inflation struggles. Still, some retailers such as Primark managed to exceed performance expectations due to catering to the value-seeking market segment.
With its shares falling by 8% in 2020, AB Foods has rebound this year, gaining 18% for the year to date. The group’s revenue for the 16-week period was 6.7 billion pounds ($8.3 billion); a 16% year-on-year rise.
Although AB Foods continued to face high-cost pressures, it stated that it received some relief as inflation had become less volatile over the period with certain commodity costs recently declining.